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Core Services

Research Computing Services

The Research Computing Section within the Department of Public Health Sciences (DPHS) consists of two groups of information technology professionals; an applications development group and a networking and systems administration group.  Research Computing develops and supports Information Technology solutions for the research and educational missions as well as for operational requirements of the DPHS and the College of Medicine.

The Research Computing Section also provides IT infrastructure and support services for the DPHS Data Coordinating Center (DCC) activities for large multi-center clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

  • Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN)
  • Childhood Asthma Research and Education Network (CARE)
  • Assessment, Serial Evaluation, and Subsequent Sequelae in Acute Kidney Injury (ASSESS-AKI) Consortium.  

This section also supports the Data Coordination and Analyses Center (DCAC) for:

  • Community and Child Health Network (CCHN).

Within the department, the network is a hybrid of Windows, Solaris Unix , Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Mac OS X operating systems.  Both physical and virtual (VMware) server infrastructure are employed to provide a range of highly available, flexible, scalable and specialized IT services in support of the department’s unique application and database hosting, educational, research and statistical data analysis requirements.

The network and systems administration section maintains the department’s IT Infrastructure and also has a national network role that resides within the DCC function of the DPHS.  In addition, the group provides helpdesk support to faculty and staff within the department and also to the General Clinical Research Center.

The applications group designs and authors specialized, custom database-driven applications to collect clinical trial information and provide numerous services to meet the needs of a variety of clients.  The group has experience in database development on Oracle, SQL, MySQL and Access platforms and will work with groups or individuals to design and deploy a database application suitable for the customer’s needs.  In addition, the applications group currently maintains over eight discrete, complex web sites in support of Public Health Sciences, the College of Medicine and several clinical trials.  PSUCOM Departments or personnel with specialized research project needs are encouraged to contact the Research Computing Manager for further details.

For more information about Research Computing Services, contact Steve Brown at or 717-531-4246.


Data Management

The Data Management Section within the DPHS consists of a group of professionals providing expertise in the collection, processing and management of clinical research information ensuring both data integrity and quality.  This group also works closely with Research Computing in the design, development and support of custom applications critical to the various missions of the department.

In addition, the Data Management Section provides ongoing data management services for many clinical research projects within the College of Medicine, Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network, and Penn State’s main campus at University Park.  Another area of responsibility includes all data management activities as part of the DPHS Data Coordinating Center (DCC) for large multi-center clinical research networks established by the National Institutes of Health:

  • ASTHMA-Net
  • Childhood Asthma Research and Education Network (CARE)
  • Assessment, Serial Evaluation, and Subsequent Sequelae in Acute Kidney Injury (ASSESS-AKI) Consortium

The Data Management Section is also the Data Coordination and Analyses Center (DCAC) for:

  • Community and Child Health Network (CCHN).

The Data Management Section provides the following services to clinical researchers:

  • Consult with researchers during the grant application process by developing a data management plan and identifying resources that are appropriate for the research project.
  • Design forms to facilitate the collection and tracking of data, subjects, study drugs, biological specimens, and study procedures.
  • Design database management system applications for data processing such as data entry, verification and validation of data, error identification, and data edits.
  • Perform all data processing tasks such as entering data, verifying data, identifying problem data, generating queries to clinical staff, editing data, preparing data for statistical analysis, tracking subject recruitment and accrual, and tracking protocol violations.
  • Plan and implement data quality audits, including clinical center site visits.
  • Train research staff in how to perform data processing tasks.

For more information about Data Management Services, contact Rosanne Pogash at or 717-531-7689.

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