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Nick Anderson

Robert D. Cardiff Professor of Informatics


Director of Informatics Research

School of Medicine,

Director, Biomedical Informatics

Clinical Translational Science Center

University of California, Davis

4610 X St, Building 33, Ste 2350

Sacramento, CA 95817


916 703 6976

nranderson  at  ucdavis  dot  edu

I am the Director of Informatics Research for UC Davis School of Medicine, and the Robert D. Cardiff Professor of Informatics. My research interests focus on deidentified large-scale clinical data sharing for research, in particular the processes, technologies and ethical impact of sharing such data to advance "translational" science. I focus on biomedicine, but many of the problems facing high-throughput data-heavy computing research are relevant to other areas of science. I am particularly interested in how researchers can use collaborative computing approaches to share and leverage human and computational resources.

Some questions driving my current work:

  • Clinical and biological data sharing for research. Sharing data that originates in clinical health systems for research poses challenges of security, quality, provenance and semantics. How can technically leveraged systems and terminology standards support effective methods to discover, share and integrate high quality clinical data? What is the effect of de-identification on large scale population sizes, and what are other mechanisms of protecting and supporting patients that enhances quality of research analytic data?
  • Patient-centric health research. In addition to the significant challenges of overcoming disenfranchisement of patient communities by moving beyond traditional separation of researcher and communities, how can informatics systems be developed to support patient preferences in becoming part of the research community?
  • Decision analysis. What user interface mechanisms and structures can assist patients in making informed decisions about their health, and in what ways can this information be provided back to them to assist in health management?

Current studies

Past studies

  • The Cancer Biospecimen Resource (CBR) is a collaboration between the University of Washington, Fred Hutchsinon Cancer Research and Seattle Children's Research Institute to advance the ablity to discover and use highly characterized cancer biospecimens for research.
  • Washington State Phenotyped Biospecimen Resource - develop workflow systems and policy to advance discovery and distribution of discarded blood samples for research
  • HealthShare Montana Statewide Research repository - develop process and infrastructure to advance health research in Montana
  • Informed Consent and Management of Genetic Results and Data Sharing for Whole Genome Sequencing - develop user focused portals to provide modes of returning genetic results to participants
  • The Consultation Standardization and Data-Sharing Project is developing standards and data represntations to enhance sharing research bioethics consultations between institutions
  • Cross-Institutional Clinical Translational Research Project (CICTR) is a multi-site information exchange pilot to implement federated querying of EHR data from disparate institutional clinical environments, as to support anonymized cohort discovery for clinical trial recruitment.
  • Developing Policy to Overcome Barriers for Biorepository Data Sharing

Recent papers

  • Anderson, N, Bragg, C, Hartzler, A, Edwards, K, Participant-Centric Initiatives: Tools to Facilitate Engagement In Research, Applied and Translational Genomics, August, 2012
  • MacKenzie, S, Wyatt, M, Schuff, R, Tenenbaum, J, Anderson N, Practices and Perspectives on Building Integrated Data Repositories: Results from a 2010 CTSA Survey, JAMIA 2012
  • Kaye, J, Curren, L, Anderson, N, Bradford, T, Edwards, K, Fullerton, M, Kanellopoulou, N, Lund, D,. MacArthur, D, Mascalzoni, D, Shepherd, J, Taylor, P, Terry,S, Winter, S, User-Centric Initiatives in Health and Biomedical Research, Nature Review Genetics, 2012
  • Masys, D, Jarvik, G, Abernethy, N, Anderson, N, Papanicolaou, G, Paltoo, D, Hoffman, M, Kohane, I, Levy, H, Technical Desiderata for the Integration of Genomic Data into Electronic Health Records., Journal of Biomedical Informatics, JBI 2011
  • Anderson, N, Abend, A, Mandel, A, Geraghty, E, Gabriel, D, Wynden, R, Kamerick, M, Anderson, K, Rainwater, J, Tarczy-Hornoch, P Implementation of a De-identified Federated Data Network for Population-based Cohort Discovery, JAMIA 2011
  • Wynden R, Anderson N, Casale M, Lakshminarayanan P, Anderson K, Prosser J, Errecart L, Livshits A, Thimman T, Weiner M. Using RxNorm for Cross-institutional Formulary Data Normalization Within a Distributed Grid-computing Environment. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2011;2011:1559-63. Epub 2011 Oct 22.
  • Anderson, Edwards, Building a Chain of Trust: Using policy and practice to enhance trustworthy data discovery and sharing, Association of Computing Machinery Workshop on Workshop on Governance of Technology, Information, and Policies, Austin TX, Dec 2010
  • Chilana, PK, Fishman, E, Geraghty, E, Tarczy-Hornoch, P, Wolf, F, Anderson, NR, Characterizing Data Discovery and End-user Computing Needs in Clinical Translational Science, Journal of Organizational and End User Computing (JOEUC) June 2010
  • Fullerton, S. M. Anderson, N. R. , Guzauskas, G., Freeman, D. Fryer-Edwards, K. Meeting the governance challenges of next generation biorepository research.Sci. Transl. Med. 3, 14cm3 (2010)
  • Lee ES, McDonald DW, Anderson N, Tarczy-Hornoch P. Incorporating collaboratory concepts into informatics in support of interdisciplinary biomedical research. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 2009
  • Anderson NR, Lee ES, Brockenbrough JS, Minie ME, Fuller S, Brinkley J, Tarczy-Hornoch P. An Assessment of the Data Management Needs of Academic Biomedical Researchers. Journal of the American Informatics Association, 14(4):478-488, 2007

Recent Abstracts

  • Anderson, N, Civan, A, Tabor, H, Bamshad, M, Personalizing the return of genome sequencing results: Consumer health informatics meets bioinformatics, AMIA Translational Bioinformatics Summit 2012 , San Francisco, CA
  • Reiter, W, Anderson, N, Abend, A, A Statewide Data Repository for Population Analytics, ACM IHI symposium, January 2012
  • Stephens, K, Lin, C, Anderson, N, Developing Best Practices for Evaluating Federated Data Sharing: Approaches from Academic Hospital and Primary Care Clinic Networks, AMIA, Washington DC, November 2010
  • Edwards, K.A., Anderson, N.R., Fearn, P.A., Fullerton, S.M, "Responsive Governance: Shifting Ethical Paradigms and Practices for Repositories", OBBR conference, Washington DC March 24th, 2010
  • Porwitz,M, Gennari,G, Anderson,N - "A wide variety of privacy protection policies: a model to evaluate utility for multi-institutional querying systems" AMIA Clinical Research Informatics Summit 2010, San Francisco
  • Anderson, NR Chilana,P, Tarczy-Hornoch, P "Challenges of Implementing Anonymized Cross-Institutional Federated Querying for Clinical Translational Research", CHI 2009 Conference
  • Anderson, Fryer-Edwards, Freeman, Fullerton "Towards a Policy Framework for Supporting Inter-institutional Biorepository Data Sharing", AMIA Summit on Translational Bioinformatics 2009
  • Anderson, NR, Chilana, P, Tarczy-Hornoch, P "Implementing Cross-institutional Clinical Discovery for Population Based Translational Research" - AMIA Spring Congress 2009
  • Guzauskas, G, Fullerton, S, Fryer-Edwards, K, Anderson, N, "Meeting the Governance Challenges of Next Generation Biorepository Research", American Society of Human Genetics, 2009

Recent Presentations

  • Pragmatic translational informatics approaches to support collaborative science. Brain Development Conference, NeuroDevNet, Toronto, Canada Sept 23, 2012
  • Patient-Centric to Participant-Centric: Intersections and Gaps, EURAC, Rome, Italy, Oct 28-29 2011
  • Interinstitutional data sharing: policy and practice. University of Auckland, New Zealand, June 2, 2011
  • Governance and Policies Around Data Use for Research, NCHICA Academic Medical Centers, Chapel Hill NC, May 22,2011
  • Developing Governance Approaches to Clinically Derived Research Resources AMIA Clinical Research Informatics Summit, San Francisco, March 2011
  • Can open source models be used for building data sharing governance in translational science? International Data Sharing Conference, Helex center, Oxford, UK, September 21, 2010
  • Privacy risks of data sharing in genomics, University of Colorado, Denver, August 26, 2010
  • Impact and Opportunity of Ethics and Policy on Informatics, AMIA Clinical Research Informatics San Francisco, CA 03/13/10