Research Informatics

About Us

Research Informatics (RI) is a division of Information Technology that has a unique mission at Penn State Hershey. We provide the research community with the resources (hardware, software, and people) necessary to meet their needs. We bridge academic research interests and activities with the information technology groups at Penn State Hershey and throughout the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Research Informatics offers a number of services that include consulting, web application development, programming, system and software installation and administration, HPC resources, and training. We are committed to providing innovative solutions that exceed the expectations of our customers while delivering them with first-class customer care.

For more information or questions about Research Informatics, please contact:

Service Highlights

Technical Support and Consulting Services
We provide consultation services for hardware/software procurement, application development, programming, and data-management options. We also support a growing portfolio of custom and off-the-shelf applications.

Programming
We provide programming and application-development services. Our services include:

  • Meeting with clients to analyze requirements for an application.
  • Designing, testing and developing software solutions.
  • Recommending upgrades and improvements for existing applications.
  • Assisting with implementation of externally developed applications (vendor and open-source).
  • Ensuring that applications function normally with maintenance and testing.
  • Working with end users for support and training.
  • Tuning software for maximum performance.
  • Troubleshooting malfunctioning programs.
  • Developing pipelines to support research.

High Performance Computing Resources
High Performance Computing, and enterprise-level storage, provides researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine the ability to quickly and efficiently process large amounts of data while providing a mechanism to allow results to be accessed for the life of the research project. The system also allows researchers to work on multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining fast data transfer rates. HPC systems are utilized by preeminent universities and government agencies that depend on complex data analysis and applications.

System and Software Administration
Our staff is available to install system software on the High Performance Computing cluster. Some of the services include:

  • System and cluster hardware
  • Compilers, libraries, and middleware
  • Broadly used applications

We also work with academic departments to advise and assist them with administering research computing systems.

Application Portfolio Highlights

REDCAP
Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) is the ideal secure solution for survey data capture, storage, and retrieval for research projects. The REDCap application and data storage procedures are secured and HIPAA compliant.

Learn more about REDCAP here.

I2B2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside)
This NIH-funded application was developed at Harvard University and is used for cohort identification through a database of de-identified patient information. The I2B2 application is user friendly and allows researchers to query, analyze, and export data.

Learn more about i2b2 here.

StudyFinder

StudyFinder retrieves Penn State Hershey clinical trials from clinicaltrials.gov and makes them visible through our website with patient-friendly search features. This increases the community awareness of available clinical trials and assists the researchers of the College of Medicine to meet their recruitment goals. 

Learn more about StudyFinder here.

Penn State Profiles

Profiles is research networking software that provides professional profiles of faculty at Penn State. The tool automatically populates an investigator's profile with his/her publication history from PubMed. Investigators can customize their profiles to highlight professional accomplishments, research interests, and expertise. Profiles receives financial support from the NIH through the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI).

Learn more about Penn State Profiles here.

STAR

STAR is a comprehensive online system designed to facilitate the submission, approval and management of select clinical research studies within Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and College of Medicine. It is part of PSU's Centralized Application Tracking System (CATS) and is integrated with CATS-IRB. The STAR system is a step forward in Penn State Hershey's effort to enhance clinical research, strengthen compliance, improve overall reporting, and save time. 

Advisory Group

This advisory committee was created to provide guidance and prioritization of Core initiatives. Members include:

  • D. Leslie, Professor, Public Health Sciences and Psychiatry
  • A. Berg, Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics 
  • C. Barnstable, Professor, Neural and Behavioral Sciences 
  • K. Donaldson, Physician, Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences 
  • R. Dykehouse, Chief Information Officer, Information Technology
  • R. Hohl, Director, Penn State Cancer Institute    
  • T. Mosher, Physician, Distinguished Professor of Radiology and Orthopedic Surgery 
  • T. Novchich, Director, Clinical Trials Office
  • B. Reeves, Physician, Professor, Medicine
  • B. Stanley, Director, Section of Research Resources
  • S. Vrana, Associate Dean for Research, Associate Professor of Pharmacology 
  • T. Whitcomb, Assistant Professor of Comparative Medicine
  • J. Yanosky, Epidemiology
  • N. Thomas, Associate Dean for Clinical Research