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Research Computing

Piotr Sliz, PhD

Chief Research Information Officer, Boston Children’s Hospital

Associate Professor, Dept. of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Sliz has been leading the Research Computing group at Boston Children’s Hospital since 2016. Some of the BCH-wide projects developed under his leadership include Pediatric Scholar premium support program for scientists, Children’s Rare-Disease Cohorts Genomics Initiative, bioinformatics/genomics consulting services, and a Longwood-wide CryoEM computing effort. Before joining Boston Children’s Dr. Sliz developed SBGrid - a global research computing infrastructure which provides software, database, and computing support to structural biologists. Dr. Sliz is an Associate Professor in Pediatrics and Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, and is affiliated with the BCH Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP) and Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research.

Desktop Support Team

Led by Joshua Lopez, the Desktop Support Team coordinates desktop support for ~1700 subscribers of the Pediatric Scholar and Research Desktop Support (RDS) services. Pediatric Scholar includes on-site technical support, handling 1000 tickets per month on average, and access to a collection of ~30 commercial applications plus ~200 open-source applications. RDS is a service provided by Research Computing for data acquisition computers, shared lab computers, instrumentation computers and personal research computers. This service includes configuring computers supporting lab equipment, backing up data, optimizing computer performance, and configuring separately licensed software.


Clinical Research Information Technology (CRIT) Team

Led by Mohamad Daniar, the CRIT Team handles CRIT support and infrastructure, including REDCap, Inform, data requests, and Clinical Data Research Networks services. The CRIT team helps researchers through the entire cycle of the clinical trials process, from cohort discovery to consenting and electronic data capture (EDC). They are one of the cores of the Institutional Centers for Clinical and Translational Research (ICCTR) and their services span EMR (TrinetX, i2b2, Cerner), genomics, and Clinical Notes.


Coding Shop and Biobank Team

Led by Ram Chakrabarty, the Coding Shop is a team of experienced software engineers who work on custom research software engineering projects. The Coding Shop works closely with research groups throughout the institution who need custom software and/or business intelligence reports and dashboards. They also maintain the Precision Link Biobank for Health Discovery, an institutional research resource of electronic health data and biospecimens allowing for a range of genomics, biomarker, and epidemiological research. 

Data Science Team 

Led by Dr. Shira Rockowitz, the Data Science Team provides genomics and bioinformatics support for Boston Children's Hospital researchers. Through BCH Connect and the Children's Rare Cohort Initiative (CRCI) they are working with investigators across the institution to sequence and store whole exome data as well as providing custom analytic tools and support services to interrogate genomic data. This team is also available to help with the experimental design, analysis, integration and visualization for bioinformatics research. They provide consulting, software, tools, training and best practices to foster research and collaboration. 


Technical Services Team

Led by Jurvis LaSalle, the Technical Services Team coordinates access to advanced computing resources. The Technical Services Team aims to provide computing infrastructure solutions to foster research computing projects at BCH. To address BCH researchers' demands on computing services, they offer a wide range of services including virtual, physical, cloud and web server hosting, high-performance computing (HPC) services, data storage and backup, and research software packages.

Data Management Team

Led by Kris Bolt, the Data Management Team provides consulting for data management plans, data storage options for both PHI and non-PHI data, and computer backup solutions. Their technologies also cover general research needs such as lab notebooks and file sharing. Data Management can work with investigators and labs to create custom data management plans and technical solutions that meet security requirements.

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