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The Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) KCA of the Delaware-CTR ACCEL Program was formed during the first CTR funding cycle. BERD has been successful in meeting the original Specific Aims: providing consultations across ACCEL institutions, providing educational forums, developing methods, and supporting the Pilot grants. BERD has skilled, experienced epidemiologists, biostatisticians, bioinformaticians, and biomedical informaticians forming a critical mass of scientists to support clinical and translational projects.

This success has been fostered by close collaboration across the current ACCEL partner institutions: The University of Delaware (UD), the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Nemours), Christiana Care Health System (CCHS), the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Delaware State University (DSU).

Each ACCEL partner institution has expertise in epidemiology, biostatistics and bioinformatics, allowing BERD to extend that expertise through close collaborations across institutions. MUSC has an established CTSA, the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR). ACCEL in general and BERD in particular have collaborated closely with SCTR and benefited from their experience and expertise. BERD also functions closely with Institute for Research in Equity and Community Health (iREACH) at CCHS, and the newly established Biomedical Research Informatics Center (BRIC) at Nemours. iREACH is an innovative research institute for studying healthcare delivery as well as translational research. BRIC comprises a team of bioinformaticians, data scientists, and developers formed in response to the expanding need for a bridge facility between research and clinical informatics. In addition, UD and DSU both have considerable infrastructure and expertise in bioinformatics. The scientists at the BRIC, SCTR, iREACH, UD and DSU add to the overall strength of ACCEL and BERD in further developing infrastructure and the critical mass of investigators to support projects of importance concerning health and healthcare in Delaware. BERD has also collaborated closely with the other ACCEL KCAs and a number of BERD scientists are members of multiple KCAs, promoting component inter- connectedness.

Specific Aims

  1. Provide consultative services for clinical, translational and population health sciences at ACCEL institutions. Consultative services include epidemiology, biostatistics, research design, data management, and bio- and medical informatics.
  2. Develop new, innovative quantitative methods in biostatistics, epidemiology, and bioinformatics. Areas of focus include analysis and visualization of large complex datasets, discovery of gene x gene and gene x environment interactions, and cost effectiveness.
  3. Foster a learning environment through educational offerings in BERD scientists’ areas of expertise. These offerings will include regular monthly Tech Talks and our weekly Innovative Discoveries Series lectures; an online Education Hub.
  4. Leverage the deep biomedical informatics and bioinformatics resources across all ACCEL institutions to support new and extended research projects addressing critical healthcare needs in Delaware.

The internal strengths of BERD and its strong collaborations across all cores have positioned the ACCEL Program to be successful.