Life and research in the fast lane

by Lisa Spellman, UNMC public relations | June 12, 2014

Image with caption: Ashok Mudgapalli, Ph.D.

Ashok Mudgapalli, Ph.D.

Processing data can be agonizingly slow if you're not using all the resources available to you.

Director of the newly created Research Information Technology Office (RITO) core facility at UNMC, Ashok Mudgapalli, Ph.D., helps researchers maximize use of their current technology and store data safely.

Recently, Dr. Mudgapalli provided just that kind of technical advice to a researcher in the College of Public Health, who wondered why the research data he was uploading to a server was taking so long to process.

"It was like he was running on only one lane in his computer when he had 49 others to use," Dr. Mudgapalli said. "By simply adjusting what he had programmed the software to do, I was able to increase the speed with which the data was being analyzed."

Navigating computer software and programs is great when everything runs smoothly and a nightmare when it doesn't, he said. He's become the IT savior for researchers.

Since joining UNMC in 2013, Dr. Mudgapalli has met with researchers across campus to discuss their IT needs and he's worked on developing an enterprise-wide research data storage solution. Now researchers can use several research data storage options.

UNMC has received funding from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Network to create a de-identified patient data registry for the newly created Greater Plains Consortium for Comparative Effectiveness Research.

The project is overseen by principal investigator, Russ Waitman, Ph.D., University of Kansas Medical Center, and, at UNMC, by site director James McClay, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine in the UNMC College of Medicine.

Dr. Mudgapalli is developing a software platform, called Integrating Biology & the Bedside (i2b2), that can allow the electronic health record data to be queried for comparative effectiveness research projects.

He also is integrating research registries with the electronic health record database to create an Enterprise Data Warehouse to support other types of clinical research.

"UNMC wouldn't be able to participate in this institute-funded project without the ability of the RITO to quickly install and configure the necessary systems," Dr. McClay said. "The infrastructure we are putting in place will serve the entire clinical research enterprise at UNMC."

Dr. Mudgapalli is nearing completion of the repository, which he hopes to have done by summer.

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June 12, 2014 at 5:40 AM

Ashok and his team are a great resource for all the researchers and will help excel any projects they may have.