An interdisciplinary resource

MedStar Health Research Institute’s Multidisciplinary Core Services function to support investigators as an interdisciplinary resource. Investigators are encouraged to work with their respective Scientific Center Administrator to access each of the cores. For core projects needing a multidisciplinary effort, a Scientific Advisory Panel will review the proposed project and provide investigators with guidance on how use of the other cores within the facility might enhance their research projects.

Biostatistics and biomedical informatics

The mission of MedStar Health Research Institute's Department of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics is to design, execute, and analyze clinical and epidemiologic studies, and provide high-quality statistical and data management services to intramural and extramural investigators.

The Department's staff has extensive knowledge and experience in biostatistics, epidemiology, outcomes research, and data collection and management.

Biostatistics services

Our Biostatistics Core provides research consulting and complex statistical analyses for investigators at all stages of the research process. This includes research design and proposal development, sample size and power calculations, statistical analysis, as well as abstract and manuscript partnership. We also offer outcomes services including consulting on model applications and cost effectiveness.

Biomedical informatics services

Our Biomedical Informatics Core offers creation of study specific databases using REDCap and other database tools, as well as data entry and management, knowledge discovery, data archiving, and quality control for data collection and management. The Core also has extensive expertise in cohort discovery and patient-data extraction from electronic medical records.

Request for services

Please complete the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Consult Request form or contact us to discuss your project.

We will respond to your request within three business days. To contact us, please e-mail biostatistics@medstar.net or call 301-560-7323.

Biomarker, Biochemistry and Biorepository Core

The Biomarker, Biochemistry and Biorepository Core (B3 Core) is the core research laboratory of MedStar Health Research Institute. For over 20 years, staff members of the B3 Core (formerly known as the Penn Medical Laboratory) have provided scientific, laboratory, and biorepository services to researchers conducting clinical studies, trials, and epidemiologic investigations sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), other federal agencies, foundations, and pharmaceutical sponsors.

To be connected with the B3 Core administrators, please email research@medstar.net.

Services

  • Processing and storing of blood, urine, and DNA samples
  • Providing accurate and timely measurements of biomarkers
  • Providing field training to ensure quality control and efficiency of study personnel
  • Answering specific research and technical questions
  • Designing laboratory protocols and supporting investigator applications

Capability highlights

  • Automated and esoteric chemistries and immunoassays, including RIA, ELISA, and multiplexed microfluidic Luminex XMAP assays.
  • Genotyping, immunologic, molecular, and chromatographic methods.
  • New method development and assay evaluation.
  • Rigorous quality control with certification and proficiency testing by College of American Pathologists (CAP), CMS Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), and Northwest Lipid Metabolism and Diabetes Research Labs.
  • Scientific and operational support for clinical, pre-clinical, and in vitro studies, including laboratory protocol development, accession form design, kit assembly, field staff training, assay design and validation, laboratory testing, and study implementation. Learn more about the B3 Core's resources and assay methods.
  • Sample acquisition and processing, including serum, plasma, DNA extraction, cell isolations, and lysates.
  • Sample tracking using study-specific bar-coded labels and database.
  • Sample storage in continuously monitored and alarmed -80ºC freezers.
  • Computerized laboratory information management system with flexible electronic, fax, or paper reporting by certified medical technologists. All computer systems are secure, supported, and backed-up daily.
  • Collaborative arrangements with a wide network of university and hospital research laboratories enable the B3 Core to provide comprehensive clinical and research laboratory resources to all clients and sponsors.

Pre-Clinical Research Laboratory

Our two pre-clinical laboratories, one in Baltimore and one in Washington, D.C., serve the research, testing and teaching programs that allow MedStar Health to move from bench to bedside to the greater community.

To be connected with the pre-clinical team, please email research@medstar.net

Current research topics

  • Pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and ischemia
  • Treatment and prevention of coronary heart disease (especially restenosis)
  • Mechanisms and pathophysiology of burn injury
  • Mechanisms and means for accelerating wound healing
  • Systems biology approaches for furthering understanding of the effects of stress on physical and mental health, including physiologic stressors and social defeat models.

Facilities

Our facilities can accommodate applications of cellular and molecular biology, bacteriology, histology, and pre-clinical evaluation techniques and methodologies. The core facility in Washington, D.C., also provides resources for:

  • Identifying genetic and molecular mechanisms of disease
  • Conducting preclinical feasibility and safety testing
  • Conducting preclinical trials testing therapeutic interventions
  • Providing data for regulatory approvals.

Capabilities

In accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, the Research Institute has implemented a quality-control system that complies with Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs, 21 CFR Part 58).

Our laboratory staff uses the GLP regulations as a guide to ensure that the data captured are of the highest quality and integrity. MedStar Health Research Institute’s commitment to providing an FDA-compliant environment is evidenced by our system reliability, documentation, and standard operating procedures. The laboratories also support non-GLP studies.

Research pharmacy

Full-service research pharmacy provides investigators and sponsors with a broad range of services:

  • Protocol review and development
  • Secure storage of pharmaceutical and biological materials
  • Preparation and dispensing of study medications (including gene therapy products)
  • Patient randomization
  • Drug accountability documentation
  • Experience with multi-center, national, and international clinical trials