CCTS Informatics provides the resources and expertise (both bioinformatics and clinical informatics) to support biomedical collaboration and consultation across the translational research spectrum. We offer help with study design; access to summary, limited (de-identified), and fully identified data sets; innovative tools to support clinical, translational, and outcomes research; and data analytic services. Our vision is to build a vibrant community of collaborating informaticians not only across the CCTS Hub with its academic medical system, but also across the regional CCTS Partner Network and national CTSA Consortium. 

National COVID-19 Data Access

National COVID-19 Data Access

N3C is Open for Business. Learn How to Get Started.

The National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) has created a large, centralized data resource available to the research community to study COVID-19 at a scale and statistical power not possible within any single institution. N3C has assembled a standardized collection of clinical, laboratory and diagnostic data from hospital electronic health records and health care plans across the country for analysis within an accessible, cloud-based data enclave. Here is how you can get involved:


The DUR and IRB approval letter can be submitted to N3C once the DUA is signed by the University. In the meantime, CCTS Partner Institutions are establishing the requisite Data Use Agreements with N3C. Currently, three CCTS partner institutions have signed data use agreements in place and investigators at those sites are eligible to analyze data in the enclave: Auburn University, The University of Alabama, and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Click to view the full list of institutions with active DUAs.

Additional Resources:

Getting started powerpoint presentation.
Access the N3C Helpdesk here.
Review the N3C Registration Checklist.
Check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

*On July 29th, CCTS and the UAB Informatics Institute hosted an N3C workshop aimed at preparing researchers to utilize this data resource. Access those presentation slides here. Recording of the event is available on the CCTS Video Channel.

Data Access and Support

Data Access and Support

  Analyst-faciliated Data Access i2b2 Self-Service TriNetX Research™ National COVID Cohort Collaboration (N3C) ACT Network
Data Type EHR, inclusively Significant* reflection
of EHR structured data
(e.g., labs, meds, diagnoses, procedures, billing codes and more)
Limited Structured data (e.g., labs, meds, procedures, billings codes) Structured data related
to COVID-19 (e.g., labs, meds, procedures, billing codes)
Structured data (labs, meds, procedures, billings codes)
Who can access UAB Faculty and Staff CCTS based on IRB approval or policy UAB Faculty and Staff 
CCTS Partners (coming soon)
UAB Faculty and Staff UAB Faculty, Staff and ***participating Institutions UAB Faculty and Staff
Patient Population UAB Medicine UAB Medicine UAB + over 70 HCOs UAB + over 50 HCOs CCTS Partners (coming soon)
Results PHI / PII, HIPAA Limited Data (LDS)
Aggregate Counts
HIPAA Limited Data
Aggregate Counts
HIPAA Limited Data 
Aggregate Counts
HIPAA Limited Data Aggregate Counts Aggregate Counts
Downloadable Yes (with assistance) Yes Yes (HIPAA LDS with approval) No Yes
IRB Requirement Approved Investigator-initiated protocol if PHI or LDS **No individual IRB 
Approval required
Approved Investigator-
initiated protocol for LDS
Approved Investigator-initiated protocol **No individual IRB Approval required
Cost to Use CCTS/Informatics Instituted Supported; Budget in grants CCTS/Informatics
Institute Supported
Free preparatory to research; Budget in
grants
No Charge CCTS/Informatics
Institute Supported






















EHR, Electronic Health Record; HCO, Healthcare Organization; PHI, Protected Health Information; PII, Personally identifiable information, HIPAA, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; CTSA, Clinical and Translational Science Award(ee)

*Fact types include allergy data, billed charges, biospecimen data, blood pressure, BMI and waist, cancer registry, clinical diagnosis, consult orders, diagnosis-related group (DRG), encounter insurance, encounter service, height, weight, immunizations, lab panels, lab powerplans, labs, medications, microbiology, select powernotes, problems, procedures (CPTs, ICD9/10), radiology events, social history, surgery data, etc.

** Permitted Users, covered entities, and any Authorized Party on User's behalf listed in (Research Title/Grant Title) may use i2b2 self-service Limited Data Sets only for the purposes which shall be limited to research, public health activities, and health care operations as defined in the HIPAA Privacy Rule (per IRB protocol E160105006)  and not for no other purpose.

*** Institutions listed on the N3C website https://covid.cd2h.org/enclave_DUA_signatories




i2b2
is a scalable informatics framework designed for translational research. It enables users to perform an enterprise-wide search on a de-identified repository of health information. CCTS Informatics offers hands-on i2b2 training to investigators twice a month, with follow-up support on an as-needed basis.
i2b2 Login
The ACT Network is a real-time, open-access platform allowing researchers throughout the CTSA consortium to explore and validate recruitment feasibility for multi-site clinical studies using electronic health record data. ACT is NIH-funded, HIPAA-compliant and IRB-approved. Usingthe ACT Network, investigators can:

  • Explore patient populations in depth, in real time, from their desktop.
  • Confirm study feasibility by iteratively testing and refining inclusion and exclusion criteria.
  • Demonstrate study feasibility in funding proposals and IRB submissions.
  • Identify potential partners for multi-site studies by searching for patients across the CTSA network.

All qualified investigators at institutions within the CCTS Partner Network may request access to ACT by contacting CCTS Clinical Informatics Director Matt Wyatt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you already have log-in credentials, click below to access.


ACT Network Login
For more complex data needs, including access to detailed data sets, investigators can submit a request to CCTS Informatics for support from an Electronic Data Warehouse (EDW) analyst.

Informatics Gateway

Informatics Gateway

The Informatics Gateway is an enterprise-wide forum for collaborative project development. The Gateway gathers experts in the appropriate area of informatics, along with biostatisticians, methodologists, and clinical and translational scientists, to help investigators explore novel research directions. To submit a project idea for consideration, fill in our Informatics Gateway Request Form or contact CCTS Research Commons at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 205-996-4478. 

Informatics Gateway
Request Form

Bioinformatics

Bioinformatics

CCTS Bioinformatics provides data and analytic support for the following:
  • Next Generation Sequence Analysis
  • Microarray analysis
  • Microbiome
  • Data storage, management, and sharing plans
  • Southeast SHRINE Consortium
  • Educational tools and programs

Clinical Research Informatics

Clinical Research Informatics

CCTS Clinical Research Informatics provides access to clinical data in the UAB Health System electronic health record to support:

  • Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) Initiative
  • Data access and exchange (via i2b2, SHRINE, and EDW analysts)
  • Subject recruitment and retention tools—cohort feasibility, subject identification (with IRB approval), clinical phenotype
  • Design and implementation of clinical research studies and secondary data analyses
  • Targeting clinical trial opportunities (TriNetX)
  • Informatics research (UAB Informatics Institute)
  • Data science for population insights and "big data" integration

Informatics Training

Informatics Training

CCTS Informatics offers multiple opportunities throughout the year for investigators interested in learning more about informatics or how to use informatics tools such as i2b2. CCTS also offers a series of i2b2 training videos for those researchers who prefer the flexibility of learning online and/or who wish to refresh their i2b2 knowledge.