Consulting and Collaboration

The BMI-CE KCA includes leaders in bioinformatics, biomedical informatics, and health information systems. Whether you are in need of support in accessing large data sets, have interest in confirming usability of a patient portal, or need to expand clinical data available in computable form, the BMI-CE KCA will with you to identify and engage key professionals. 


Meet with our experts to learn about using the best available IT and informatics resources to efficiently and successfully conduct research. We can help manage all of your administrative and investigative IT needs for your next project. We work closely with the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design KCA as well as the Professional Development KCA to form collaborative teams capable of navigating difficult research questions. We utilize multiple collaborative methods, including the Research Studio format in collaboration with senior researchers across our network. 


Some of our resources include assistance with project management software, IRB-security issues, and data sharing procedures for multi-site collaborative groups. We also provide support for biomedical informatics graduate students.


Feasibility and Specialized Service Requests

The Biomedical Informatics KCA provides access to Systems Biology consultation, PCORNet and Electronic Health Record (EHR) Access services, and Biobank feasibility requests. Identifying the feasibility of a planned clinical trial helps support feasibility or in some cases prevents initiating projects that cannot be realistically completed. 


By evaluating the likely available subjects, the investigator can tailor his or her proposed research question or study population. While investigators might desire Biobank samples, they need to determine first if samples with the characteristics they desire are available. The BMI KCA will support these requests for consultation or feasibility through web links for those specific requests

Research Consultation and Collaborations

CTR investigators may have projects requiring a collaborator to develop a secure messaging tool, a communication intervention, or collaborate on collating systems biology data sets. RITO will serve as a portal for available collaborators, and biomedical informatics expertise available at all partner institutions will be posted on the website with contact information.


By working closely with Institutional Program Coordinators and other KCA directors at all Great Plains IDeA-CTR institutions, the BMI KCA will develop and communicate pathways for secure communications and data transmissions. Secure data sharing is one of the requirements of all collaborations, which may vary with the resource. For example, imaging files may be very large requiring flexible storage capabilities including cloud storage solutions and genetic sequencing data can also be troublesome, as it must be moved off the equipment for data manipulation, including, in some cases, to a collaborating biostatistician before final storage.


The Biomedical Informatics KCA Operational Director will work with each resource leader in collaboration with that institution’s IT leader to discuss available options, taking into consideration the firewalls in place, file sizes, the speed of internet connections available, the location and expected duration of data storage, and whether the data includes personal health information (PHI).


The resource/core director with assistance from the Biomedical Informatics KCA will implement that plan as they consult with new users or collaborators. Procedures governing data transfer to the Holland Computing Center or other supercomputers for large datasets will also be developed.

Expand Access to Collaborative Regisitries

The Cancer Center has sponsored the development of web based collaborative cancer registries with common data elements to allow queries off multiple instruments. Each registry is sponsored by a consortium of investigators, and in some cases includes other national as well as international partners.


This same format was used to recently develop the Diabetes and Obesity Collaborative Registry, showing that the format can be useful for other disease states. We are currently in the final development stage of an Alzheimer’s Disease PBRN along with the other GP IDeA-CTR KCAs. 


CTR investigators who would like to participate in any of these registries (e.g., Breast Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Thyroid nodules and cancer) will be introduced to the registry leader to determine how to join the consortium focused on that topic. Individuals who would like to collaborate to build a new registry will be referred to the Biomedical Informatics Support Facility for the Cancer Center to discuss potential options

Requests for Consultation

Please contact: 

Elizabeth Reisher, MS

Data Access/Program Coordinator