The Data Management and Statistical Core (Data Core) provides the database management and statistical support for research conducted at the Massachusetts ADRC (MADRC), including our own and affiliated research studies, collaborative efforts with other ADCs and with national AD research initiatives. The Core aims to catalyze (Aims 1,2) basic science, clinical and translational research in AD by collaborating with subject-matter researchers to maximize efficiency of study designs and optimize analytic methods, and providing data management services, collaborative software development, and web-based collaboration and communication tools.
The Core aims to innovate (Aims 3,4) by developing novel efficient, unbiased study designs and analytic methods for intervention trials and observational studies, and by developing a new customized database to handle the diverse data collected across the Center. The Core aims to educate (Aims 5,6) researchers at all levels, including undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, MD fellows in Neurology and Psychiatry and allied fields, and faculty level clinician scientists, and to develop web-based tools to reach broader audiences.
This Core functions as the glue that binds other Cores together, and fulfills the Administrative Core’s mandate of ensuring a smooth functioning research center. It is our overall aim to serve both as a resource for ongoing activities in Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative diseases and as a leader in both research and technical development activities.
The specific aims of the Core are:
1. To Provide Statistical Consultation and Collaboration. We will provide statistical consultation and collaboration to the research projects, pilot projects, cores and other MADRC-affiliated research through on-going participation in research teams, as well as needed consultations as the need arises.
2. To Provide Research Data Management. We will provide a state of the art database, and support data entry, cleaning, and access for MADRC cores, research projects, and pilot projects. This aim includes preparing the Uniform Data Set (UDS) for transmission to NACC, and maintaining MADRC’s longitudinal database of subject IDs and associated longitudinal information.
3. To Develop Novel Statistical Methods. We will develop novel methods as needed when MADRC investigators require analytic approaches beyond what can be handled by standard methods, or in anticipation of needs in the field. We both apply these methods to solve problems for our investigators, and publish them to make them available to the broader research community.
4. To Develop Software for Data Management and Analysis in Collaboration with other ADCs. We will continue to develop joint software and data management solutions to support the research needs of MADRC, based on the LAVA data system, in collaboration with our colleagues at UCSF, Emory, and other participating centers. Our goal is to provide optimal research data support for ourselves and benefit other centers, with gains in efficiency and innovation by coordinating common software activities and sharing results with participating centers.
5. To Train Clinical Investigators in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. We will contribute to the training of MADRC and allied clinical AD investigators in study design and analytic methods and of quantitative scientists in understanding analytic issues in neurodegenerative diseases through collaboration, seminars, and more formal coursework. Training of underrepresented minority scientists is a priority.
6. To Support for Web-based Education, Collaboration and Scientific Communication. We will enable software support for the MADRC web page, including web-based collaboration, education and scientific communication, among MADRC researchers and for outreach to the community. We will also contribute to the training of MADRC investigators in web and data-related issues through training sessions and seminars.