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Director's Message Winter 2013-2014

Dr. Firestein

2013 has been an exciting and productive year at CTRI. One of this year’s accomplishments – a shared success – was supporting the launch of a new initiative and tool aimed at research data exchange among medical centers. As part of the UC Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration and Development (UC BRAID) consortium, CTRI helped create the UC Research eXchange (UC ReX) and the UC ReX Data Explorer tool.

With a single online query, researchers can search 12 million de-identified patient records from medical center databases here at UC San Diego, as well as at UC Los Angeles, UC Irvine, UC Davis, and UC San Francisco, using the data explorer tool.

Search criteria can include demographics, diagnosis, laboratories, and medications. The output of each query from the UC ReX Data Explorer is a numeric count of patients by site that match the criteria identified in the query. The numeric count helps investigators assess the feasibility of their study idea by identifying whether there are sufficient numbers of prospective subjects within the UC system.

This first cross-campus clinical query system leverages existing clinical data warehouses and builds a scalable production system that uses state-of-the-art technology and management practices. A Data Concierge service to identify patients for clinical research projects was also launched. Fifty-nine requests for patient cohorts have been processed this year and we are adding commonly-ordered lab test results and anticoagulant medications.

Future plans for UC ReX and the data concierge service include quality of care studies and increased coordination between BRAID sites for cohort identification. To access the UC ReX Data Explorer workbench at UC San Diego, researchers must be affiliated with a UC San Diego principal investigator and complete training. Start exploring UC ReX with Data Explorer.

The new year heralds fresh beginnings, and the continuing development of new technology that enables discovery along the path toward better health.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and productive New Year.

Gary S Firestein, MD, Director of CTRI
Professor of Medicine Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine
Phone: (858) 822-3824