Core B: Informatics and Analytic Core

Professor of Biostatistics in Psychiatry

The Informatics and Analytic Core provides ongoing support for key central activities: data management, statistical analysis, collaboration, data sharing and informatics. The specific aims are:

  1. To provide quantitative support through research planning, data support and management and biostatistical analysis;
  2. Add databases to the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL) (marketing and warning labels) and archive websites on smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes and other new products to support behavioral projects’ assessment of the effects of exposure to tobacco marketing;
  3. Offer training, support and resources for collaboration and data sharing.

This Core supplies the quantitative and informatics activities of all Component studies, provides tools and services for collaborative and data sharing activities, and integrates its work with the Administrative and Biospecimen Core.

The need for a Core with expertise in biostatistics stems from the fact that methods of statistical analysis have experienced tremendous expansion over the last 20+ years with advances in both theory and practice. Many of the more recent developments have a direct impact on the planned analyses of the research of this Center. The complexity of modern statistical methodology makes it impractical for a researcher to stay current with developments in both their own area of research specialization and the field of biostatistics.

The variety and sophistication of available data analytic methods, coupled with the specific demands of conducting studies means that data management is an important concern in virtually all areas of treatment research particularly in specialty areas that have their own unique characteristics and challenges. Part of the role of this Core is to stay current with and manage the impact of HIPAA guidelines on Center activities.

The UCSF Library’s Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL, http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu) has become the central resource for researchers investigating the tobacco industry in California, nationally and globally.  It contains not only 80 million pages of industry documents, but also multimedia materials; and tobacco product advertisements so it is a rich research resource. The Informatics Core will add new data to LTDL. Additionally, this Core will archive websites and material from social media sites relevant to the work on researchers in this Center and add these records to LTDL, a secure, permanent digital home for information about the tobacco industry.

Core staff will provide consultation and resources to promote collaboration and data sharing