Convenient data capturing? Its REDCap software
16. 10. 2019 |
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is primarily a database solution for collecting and managing research data, but it can also be used for other matters that are only marginally related to research (eg surveys). It was originally developed for the internal needs of researchers at Vanderbilt University, but is now used worldwide - especially in the academic research community. It is an international network of nearly two and a half thousand institutions in over 115 countries, with 590,000 end users. REDCap is currently used for more than 450,000 ongoing research studies.
The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) is also involved in this network, Jan Voříšek from the Biostatistics team is our administrator. He recently returned from the REDCapCon conference and answered some questions.
Jan, being a researcher, why use REDCap?
Because I think it's perfect for us. (smile) Seriously, most of our researchers use MS Excel or Google Sheets to record their research data. From a certain point of view, and now I run into GDPR, for example, this can be a big problem, moreover, when there is something far more sophisticated and practical – I mean REDCap. It enables creation of a database for manual data collection with bulletproof security, perfect management of access rights, takes care of data validation at the time of entry or enables cooperation on one dataset to international teams. Although it is not software for processing enormous machine-generated data, it is an ideal tool for standard research.
And what about REDCap and FNUSA-ICRC?
After a year and a half we finally have REDCap in the latest version, so it is ready to use. And it's free! It even meets the requirements of GDPR compliance… Just to give you an idea, I met a colleague from Mayo Clinic at the conference and he confirmed to me that several thousands of studies have been done at REDCap, including the most demanding clinical solutions.
So what do you plan to increase using REDCap?
Certainly I would like to create a special section on our web page with detailed information for potential users and by the end of the year I also plan to validate for the needs of clinical trials. This is still in progress, but if someone is interested in this information, it can certainly contact me, I will be happy to explain it in person.
Alliance4Life Formalizes its Existence
7. 10. 2019 |
Today, on 4th October 2019, the founding members of the Alliance4Life gathered at Vilnius University and signed the Memorandum of Understanding, which formalizes the alliance as a permanent structure. The Alliance4Life connects progressive life science institutions from Central and Eastern Europe. The mission of the Alliance4Life shall be to support and strengthen European research excellence and the impact of scientific research on society, human health, and quality of life. The signing of the memorandum is the crown jewel of Alliance4Life´s achievements during the past two years of its existence. It symbolizes the partners’ commitment to make this alliance a long lasting one, for the benefit of the members and the whole region.
The formal existence of the Alliance4Life is in line with the current shift of the EU research policy towards a more sensitive approach to research and innovation needs of the Central and Eastern European countries. The Alliance4Life´s voice has been heard also during the new Horizon Europe negotiations, and surely will be listened to in the future. Alliance4Life intends to become a role model for institutions in less performing regions and to serve as a hub of excellence, inspiring others.
The Alliance4Life started two years ago as a project initiated by CEITEC Masaryk University with the clear mission to help close the innovation gap. Benchmarking exercises served as a starting point for development strategies for all seven focus groups – science evaluation, ethics and integrity, human resources and mobility, grants and funding, core facilities, knowledge and technology transfer, and science communication. The project enabled the members to gather for joint trainings and to develop best practice inventory, representing an enormous value for the members. During this meeting hosted by Vilnius University, all members confirmed that progress was made and a solid strategy was developed to be implemented in the years to come!
- CEITEC Masarykova univerzita (CEITEC – Central European Institute of Technology), CZ
- FNUSA-ICRC (Mezinárodní centrum klinického výzkumu Fakultní nemocnice u sv. Anny v Brně), CZ
- BMC Biomedical Research Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, SK
- MUL Medical University of Lodz, PL
- UZSM University of Zagreb School of Medicine, HR
- UT University of Tartu, EE
- VU Vilnius University – Faculty of Medicine, LT
- LIOS Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, LV
- UL University of Ljubljana, SI
- SU Semmelweis University, HU
The project “Alliance for Life Sciences: Closing Research and Innovation Divide in
the European Union” received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 779303.
„Zaostreno na zdravi“ with our participation
1. 10. 2019 |
Team Kardiovize Brno 2030 from The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC) participated in the Zaostreno na zdravi (Focus on Health) event organized by the Brno City Council as part of the Brno Days for Health in cooperation with the Jiří Mahen Library in Brno, CM Optik, Recetox FoS MU, STOB and the Venous Advisory Center. We measured blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose at our site. The measurement was provided by research nurses and a doctor who interpreted the results to all interested parties.
As far as capillary blood cholesterol measurement is concerned, we measured 142 people. The measured values were average, but the highest measured value was 8 mmol / l (target value is less than 5 mmol / l), this person could have been untreated dyslipidemia. We sent the lady to the GP to verify these values and possibly start treatment. As for the measurement of glucose from capillary blood, we measured 178 people. The measured values were generally higher. It was influenced by the fact that most people were not fasting, of course. The highest measured value was 12 mmol / l (target value is less than 5.6 mmol / l on an empty stomach). This value probably suggested diabetes. We also sent this lady to the doctor so she could start any treatment as soon as possible. With regard to blood pressure measurements, we measured approximately 150 people. A larger number of visitors to the event did not take their medications for hypertension in the morning, so the measured values were higher. We have instructed these people about the proper use of drugs, and after taking them (if they had them with them), after some time measured them, and by bringing the values to target values (<140/90 mmHg), we pointed out the importance of proper use. Some of the visitors had a new blood pressure treatment, so they were happy to be able to verify the correct medication due to the good values we measured. We also distributed educational material to those interested in explaining how to achieve healthy and targeted values.
Jana Jarešová, Kardiovize Brno 2030
Photo: resource KJM
My stay here was too short…
30. 9. 2019 |
… said Kamil Baranski, who completed a one-month internship at The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC). Specifically, he worked in the Biostatistics team and came to us from the Silesian Medical University in Katowice. We asked his impressions of the visit in a short interview.
You've been here for a month of internship, what exactly did you do?
To be honest, it is hard to believe for me that I have been here for a one month. Time goes by so quickly. I spent one month at the Biostatistics Core Facility, where head and chair is Mgr. Bc. Silvie Belaskova PhD. During my stay, I had an opportunity to increase my statistical skills. I attended the lectures about statistics. One of them were presented by Christopher Gotwalt, a JMP SAS director. His presentation about mixed models was amazing. Additionally, since I work with data, either with sensitive personal data, I had an opportunity to attend GDPR training. At FNUSA-ICRC I worked with data related to the cardiology patients with standard therapy and without standard therapy, I screened for side effects of the therapy. However, the main aim of the internship was to increase my statistical skill and I have the feeling that I reached the aim. The most important thing of my stay is that I could consult all my statistical doubts with Silvie. From the profession point of view, she is a very good statistician and from the personal point of view she is a very nice and friendly person. I have a bit ambivalent feeling about my stay at FNUSA-ICRC. I am happy that I could spend time with interesting hard working people here, and at the same time I am unhappy that my stay was too short, at least in my opinion.
You were in Brno for the first time? How did you like it?
Yes, it was my first time in Brno. I have done some sightseeing among the others I can mention Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul on Petrov hill, Špilberk Castle, Church of St. James I even visited Mestska Policie because I had to pay a ticket (laugh). But the visit there was comfortable and i had no problems to speak in English. I tried to avoid using Czech/Polish language because it creates some misunderstandings. Moreover I am not type of person who likes to walk through museums, churches, castles etc. The more important thing for me is the interaction with people. To know their habits, their culture and how they differ in comparison to Polish culture. I hope I won’t offend Czech nation but I think Polish culture is similar to yours. You are very friendly and helpful people. I have to mention, additionally, that I am not a big fan of beer, but actually you have a really good beer here, with many types of local beers to choose.
What about FNUSA-ICRC, did you like it?
I don’t think so that I have a privilege to share opinion about whole FNUSA-ICRC but I can do that about Department of Biostatistics. I know that you do here a lot of interesting projects, I would like to participate in most of them. You have a good tools, work conditions and hardworking people to reach the top of the science. I enjoyed my stay and I would like to stay here longer. Moreover, I would like to share special thanks to all colleagues from Department of Biostatistics, especially Silvie Belaskova, Jaroslav Chovan, Jan Vorisek, Bohdan Tyshchenko and Martina Petrikova, she helped me a lot and I could bother her at any time.
Will this internship help you in the future, has it taught you something new?
This internship helped me in two categories. Firstly, I could develop my statistical skills like propensity analysis, mixed models, survival analysis. Secondly, I believe that my internship let me continue collaboration with FNUSA-ICRC.
And what are your future career plans?
That’s the difficult question because it is dependent from many confounding factors. However, I would like to continue my work at Medical University of Silesia in Katowice as a postdoctoral researcher and academic teacher. I am focused on three areas of research: phenotyping of childhood asthma, vaccine hesitancy and liver diseases. But I also realized that SAS programming is becoming my passion so I would like to develop my skills in this filed. For sure I will help people with data analysis. Unfortunately, like most of us, I have a disease called „lack of time“, so it is difficult to focus more at SAS programming. Moreover, I would like to stay in touch with FNUSA-ICRC and keep collaborating with you.
FNUSA-ICRC at the Nordic Life Science Days international partnering event
25. 9. 2019 |
On September 10-12, 2019, FNUSA-ICRC took part in the Nordic Life Science Days (NLSD) - international partnering event held in Malmö, Sweden. NLSD is the largest networking meeting in the Northern Europe region in the field of life-science held regularly every year, attended by representatives from academic and research institutions as well as from industry, especially bio-pharmacy, medical device manufacturing, contracted medical research and related services.
Our center shared the stand of the CzechInvest government agency with seven other participants from the Czech Republic (eg MUNI, IOCB AV, MediTox, GENERI BIOTECH), where representatives of the FNUSA-ICRC Technology Transfer Department presented the results of clinical and translational research. with pre-addressed representatives of organizations such as the Japanese biopharmaceutical company Kyorin, the Finnish company Monidor, the British company Tissue Solutions or the state agency Neurocenter Finland, the German cluster BioRN, the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Research and the US fundraising agency FreeMind. The established contacts will be further developed especially in the field of testing of infusion on-line monitoring in intravenous therapy and clinical testing of newly developed drugs in sleep medicine.
Come and support your colleague in the Falling Walls Lab competition!
24. 9. 2019 |
The Czech National Final of the Falling Walls Lab competition was also attended by a representative of The International Clinical Research Center of St. Anne's University Hospital Brno (FNUSA-ICRC). With her Heart-on-a-Chip project, succeded Ece Ergir, a doctoral student from the Cardiovascular System - Mechanobiology team.
“I started from the fact that cardiovascular diseases are still the leading cause of death worldwide. The human heart is very complex and expensive tissue for in vitro modeling, and monolayer culture or animal models may not accurately reflect the physiological complexity of the human heart,” explains Ece Ergir. “My idea is a miniaturized human mini-heart “Heart-on-a-Chip”. We develop small 3D cardiac organoids reprogrammed from donor stem cells (iPSCs) and implement them into organ-on-a-chip technologies that provide a more dynamic and natural microenvironment. Organoids beat themselves, more closely resemble human heart tissue, and organoids from different individuals can respond differently to drugs. The chips can also be coupled together to allow high performance screening. We therefore offer miniaturized, physiologically relevant, cost-effective and ethical tissue models for personalized medicine.”
Ece will have to present the project in three minutes and, above all, attract the jury enough to be selected for the world finals in Berlin. And in that we can help her - come and support your colleague in VIDA! Center 2. 10. - entry is for free, only registration is required.
Falling Walls Lab is an international format designed to introduce the next generation of great scientists and innovators. The competition was created and annually organized by the Berlin Falling Walls Foundation. Talented and innovative thinkers present their science projects, business plans or social initiatives to an interdisciplinary audience and jury during three-minute speeches. The Czech national round of Falling Walls Lab is organized by CEITEC and the winner will take part in the world final, where the Czech Republic won the Audience Award last year.