Superfund Research Program
Data Management and Analysis Core
Project Summary (2020-2025)
The Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP) tackles a highly complex issue that requires a well-integrated thematic approach. The Data Management and Analysis Core (DMAC) will provide the expertise, tools, and workflow optimization to support and maximize ISRP research results and impact. The DMAC and project leaders will develop tailored Priority Analysis Plans with rigorous Quality Assurance to assure accuracy, precision, representativeness, comparability, and reproducibility using appropriate statistical and analytical methods. As a result, ISRP projects will make high-impact discoveries, publish in high-quality journals, and provide timely scientific guidance to stakeholders regarding PCBs in the environment and their effect on human health. DMAC will have five Specific Aims: 1) develop, maintain, and automate data management, data-sharing, and quality assurance infrastructure for full reproducibility, transparency, and rigor in all ISRP studies; 2) support ISRP projects and cores with embedded expert biostatical contributions, services, and guidance; 3) develop novel statistical methods and associated software for data analytic challenges that impact all ISRP projects, cores, and affiliated sciences; 4) support the Research Experience and Training Coordination Core by providing guidance, resources, events, and instruction on data science and informatics to trainees and investigators; and 5) provide the data management and analytical foundations for research integration across the ISRP. Activities proposed under DMAC Specific Aim 3 address SRP mandates 2 and 3, which call for novel statistical methods and tools to support detection and risk assessment. Activities under Specific Aim 5 address SRP mandates 1, 2, and 4 by integrating data and methods from across the ISRP into cost-effective solutions and strategies to comprehensively assess and reduce population-scale PCB risks to human health. Through DMAC, the ISRP is charting new territory at the University of Iowa (UI). This work represents a unique opportunity to align existing resources to support interdisciplinary research. With the help of their UI partners, the DMAC will be an early adopter of proven enabling approaches and technologies for data management, data-sharing, reproducible research workflows, and informatics investigation and training. DMAC will lead the application of biostatistics and informatics to support and optimize ISRP research. The core will provide expert staff, platforms, policies, and research support for all ISRP projects and cores throughout the research process, including training and methods to maximize research outcomes, applied solutions, replicable products, and sound evidence-based decision support. DMAC's activities will enhance full ISRP integration and catalyze effective development, refinement, application, and sharing of innovative solutions generated by ISRP interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary PCB research. DMAC's centralized services, platforms, and policies, along with innovative new methods, will yield economies of scale in effort and cost for data management, processing, sharing, analysis, and training.