Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
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Quantitative Data Sciences Core

Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, Clinical Informatics

The mission of the Quantitative Data Sciences Cores is to provide a state-of-the-art, integrated approach for data science support in Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Clinical Informatics to Lurie Cancer Center members in the basic, clinical and population sciences. The core combines the former Biostatistics Core Facility and the Cancer Informatics Core Facility and collaborates in three main areas: biostatistics, bioinformatics and clinical informatics.

Contact Us


Masha Kocherginsky, PhD

Masha Kocherginsky, PhD
Departments of Preventive Medicine (Biostatistics) and Obstetrics and Gynecology (Gynecologic Oncology)

Assistant Director

BurdettKirsten Bell Burdett, MS
Statistical Analyst Sr, Department of Preventive Medicine (Biostatistics)

Associate Directors

BlankElizabeth T. Bartom, PhD
Scientific Associate Director of Bioinformatics
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and Preventive Medicine (Biostatistics)

BlankMatthew J. Schipma, PhD
Technical Associate Director of Bioinformatics
Research Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

GurleyMichael Gurley
Technical Associate Director of Clinical Informatics
Administrative Director of Cancer Informatics Lurie Cancer Center

Get In Touch: Project Description Form

Please fill out a brief Project Description Form and a QDSC member will get in touch with you about collaborating.

Note: Please get in touch with us as early as possible to ensure adequate time for meaningful contribution from QDSC. Typically a request should be made at least 6-8 weeks prior to deadline for grants, abstracts, clinical trial design, data analysis, and manuscript preparation. For 1 hour consultations, we recommend reaching out at least 1-2 weeks prior to desired meeting time.  

Services & Equipment

 Key Services


  • Research study design
    • Power/sample size
    • Experimental design
    • Statistical Analysis Plans
    • Data collection tools
  • Statistical analysis
    • Variety of statistical methods
    • Data visualization
    • Interpretation of results
    • Manuscript writing
  • Clinical Trials
    • Design and development
    • eCRF design with PI and QAM
    • Analysis and reporting
  • Grant development
  • Clinical trials support (IIT)
  • Basic science and clinical studies
  • Reproducible research pipelines


  • Raw data from NUSea or outside data
  • NGSCheckMate — sample validation
  • RNA-Sea
    • Bulk or single cell
    • Alignment, transcript quantification, differential expression, pathway analysis
    • scRNA-Seq
  • ChIP-Sea
  • Variant Analysis
  • CRISPR screen analysis
  • ATAC-Sea
  • Standard pipelines and new pipeline development
    • CETO — modular system of sequence analysis tools and pipelines
  • Study design and analysis in collaboration with Biostatistics
Clinical Informatics:
  • OncoSET
    • Data management: outcomes registry, biobank, raw sequence files
    • Integration with Epic
  • Data Capture (NOT1S/REDCap)
    • Development
    • Work with QAM to standardize across trial
  • Analytics for LCC and CTO
    • Patient recruitment to trials
    • Financial tracking and dashboard
    • CCSG/CoC reports
    • LCC Membership DB
  • NM EDW
    • Clinical research data analysts
    • EHR data exports
  • Pathology Core
    • Biobanking database
    • Disburser — sample disbursing tracking
  • Custom clinical databases
    • Prostate, Head and Neck, Melanoma, RadOnc Breast, COVID-19 and Cancer

In addition to the co-directors, each area includes faculty and staff who will work with Lurie Cancer Center members in providing expertise as needed. Core members also engage in the following general activities:

  • Collaboration with cancer center members across all programs;
  • Collaboration with cancer center members on both the Chicago and Evanston campuses
  • Discussion about research objectives and hypotheses;
  • Writing informatics and statistical sections for grant applications;
  • Active collaboration through funded grant activity;
  • Active co-authoring of research findings
  • Interaction and integration with other cancer center cores as needed;
  • Interaction and integration but not overlapping with cores and entities external to the cancer center as needed (NUCATS, IPHAM, CPS, CDSI, BCC, NUGENE, NUSeq);
  • Development of new methodology in Biostatistics and Biomedical Analytics 
  • Development and review of cancer related protocols;
  • Education through individual contact, group seminars, journal clubs and fellow/junior faculty development;


All manuscripts and grants presenting work supported by this core should include the following acknowledgement:

Acknowledgements: CCSG grant CA060553 and Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University.

Core Navigator

For guidance on which cores may be most useful for your research and to coordinate use, please contact Core Navigator Sara Fernandez Dunne at or 847.491.5960.