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Data Management for Translational Research

Data management in translational research is key to gleaning insights that lead to personalized treatment plans for patients. Translational research has advanced rapidly in recent years, but patient treatment efforts have been hindered by poor data management practices, error-prone manual workflows, and a lack of collaborative spaces where scientists and clinicians can easily share data and analyses.

With the multitude of data sources and types involved in translational research, teams need flexible data management software tools to help maximize insights and knowledge transfer from bench to bedside. LabKey Server provides the essential tools to overcome the unique data management and collaboration challenges posed by interlinking data from research and patient treatment.

Managing Translational Research Data

Proper lab data management in translational research is vital in improving repeatability and reproducibility in experiments. This ultimately leads to more reliable research studies, improved product development and better patient outcomes in a shorter time frame. Data management software plays a central role in managing the integration, quality control, analysis, and sharing of translational research data. In LabKey Server, these features include:

  • The ability to seamlessly connect raw assay data with metadata and the original experiment
  • Built-in quality control tools for recognizing and handling erroneous values
  • A file watcher that automatically loads new data into a new or existing dataset as it becomes available, reducing human interaction and error
  • Compliance tools for ensuring data is reviewed and an electronic signature recorded

Comprehensive Data Integration

Translational research involves many scientists and clinicians compiling multiple data types and sources. These may include deidentified patient data, whole genome or exome sequences, specific tumor sequences, specimen records from patient blood draws, biopsies, and more. Without a data integration hub, this is a daunting and time-consuming process that can potentially slow down research and the downstream treatment offered to patients. LabKey Server includes these powerful features for integrating translational research data:

  • A compliant study environment with tools that simplify the integration of clinical and research data
  • Automated methods for aligning data from a variety of sources (flow cytometry, Luminex, antibody data, data from electronic data capture systems, etc.)
  • Flexibility and simplified methods for collecting ad-hoc results
  • Tools for comparing subjects across multiple studies

Collaboration and Sharing of Research Data

Sharing data with collaborators improves accountability, innovation, and ultimately the production of new therapies for patients. Hurdles like institutional firewalls and outdated data-sharing methods, like emails, spreadsheets and insecure websites, often hinder collaboration in the scientific community. LabKey Server helps teams collaborate securely by providing:

  • Web-based access to a central platform for data sharing
  • A compliant environment with multi-level permissions, so data sharing is secure
  • The ability to protect PHI data or randomize IDs when sharing information with collaborators

Case Study: City of Hope

City of Hope is a comprehensive cancer care center treating patients using the Total Cancer Care protocol. LabKey Server brings together clinical and genomic data, making it available across the entire City of Hope enterprise where it can be used to improve precision-based therapies. LabKey Server integrated with their existing data warehouse systems, provided users with graphical access to querying and reporting, as well as API access for developers and users performing more advanced analysis techniques. LabKey also supports City of Hope’s needs for team collaboration solutions, API development, and workflow integration, with an audit system that supports regulatory compliance. 

Read More: LabKey Improves Data Accessibility for Total Cancer Care Protocol at City of Hope

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