CCTS Clinical Research Informatics faculty and data analysts work with investigators to support clinical investigation, bringing expertise in the integration of large clinical, environmental, social, public health and other large data sets to address significant population-based translational research questions.

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

  • Scientific Gateway for design and implementation of clinical research studies and secondary data analyses
  • Data access and exchange (via i2b2 Self-Service, EDW Analysts, Southeast SHRINE, ACT Network)
  • Subject recruitment and retention tools—cohort feasibility, subject identification (with IRB approval), clinical phenotype
  • Targeting clinical trial opportunities and Research Network (TriNetX)
  • Informatics research (UAB Informatics Institute)
  • Data science for population insights and "big data" integration

Use of Patient Health Data for Research

Cohort Feasibility Review is a process to make sure that a proposed study has a greater probability of being successfully completed. CCTS Clinical Research Informatics can help investigators generate an aggregate assessment of potentially eligible patients for any clinical study. We retrieve patient data via i2b2 and PowerInsight.

Scientific Gateways

Scientific Gateways are collaborative, multidisciplinary panel discussions – assembling expertise in informatics, design & methodology, and clinical investigation –

to help investigators explore novel research directions. In partnership with the Center for Outcomes & Effectiveness Research, the CCTS supports two Scientific Gateway models dedicated to 1) ‘omics data analysis and 2) secondary clinical data analysis. To submit a project idea for consideration, fill in the relevant Informatics Gateway Request Form below 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. 

Bioinformatics (‘omics) Scientific Gateway

 

Clinical Informatics Scientific Gateway

 
Self-Service and Analyst Facilitated UAB Health Record Data Access

I2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Bench to Bedside) is a self-service clinical data warehouse that can provide summary, limited, or detailed patient data in response to specific queries (e.g., “find me all the patients that have systemic lupus erythematosus and a hemoglobin level of less than 10”). i2b2 can be used when preparing a grant proposal to estimate the number of patients in the UAB Health System that might qualify for a study. It can also be used to obtain detailed patient data, either in identified form for subjects who have been enrolled, or could be enrolled, in an IRB-approved research study or in limited form (i.e., data sets from which all identifiers have been removed except dates and zip codes) that can be analyzed directly.

Instructions on accessing, learning, and using i2b2 can be found here.

For more complex data queries not easily enabled through i2b2, data requests are submitted through the CCTS Research Commons and assigned to Electronic Data Warehouse analysts, who work closely with investigators to hone queries and to access information. With appropriate IRB approval, this process allows investigators to access detailed data for research, including individually identifiable health information (PHI, PII) that can be leveraged for study recruitment purposes.  

To consult the analyst team, please complete a clinical data request form.

National Data Platforms

The TriNetX Research Network to explore datasets from several dozen linked institutional i2b2 instances, including those at CCTS Partners, to conduct secondary data anysis and to identify potential clinical trial sites. To explore the TriNetX option, contact CCTS Research Commons at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

The ACT Network is a real-time platform allowing researchers to explore and validate feasibility for clinical studies across the NCATS Clinical and The ACT Network is a real-time platform allowing researchers to explore and validate feasibility for clinical studies across the NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium, from their desktops. ACT helps researchers design and complete clinical studies, and is secure, HIPAA-compliant and IRB-approved.Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium, from their desktops. ACT helps researchers design and complete clinical studies, and is secure, HIPAA-compliant and IRB-approved.

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. 

The All of Us Program opened the Researcher Workbench  and is inviting researchers to apply for access to explore the initial dataset and tools. The Researcher Workbench is a secure, cloud-based platform that offers researchers an opportunity to execute rapid, hypothesis-driven research and build new methods for the future.