The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have defined Bioinformatics as “Research, development, or application of computational tools and approaches for expanding the use of biological, medical, behavioral or health data, including those to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze, or visualize such data.” Research projects at the School of Computing Engineering include development of algorithms for the analysis of sequence and other biological data, data mining and biomedical knowledge representation. A collaborative project with Midwest Psychiatric Research Group (MPRG) funded by NIH is described below.

An Intelligent Online System for Enhanced Recruitment of Patients for Clinical Research

Principal Investigator(s): UMKC – Deendayal Dinakarpandian, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., Yugyung Lee, Ph.D.; MPRG – John Wubbenhorst, M.S., Dennis Owens, M.D.
Funded by: The National Institute of Health (NIH), $535,000 10/01/07 to 02/28/10
Goal: Recruitment and retention of subjects for clinical research is currently an inefficient and time-consuming process in the new drug development industry. This is especially true for vulnerable populations of individuals with psychiatric disorders. The goal of the project is to develop a prototype for recruitment enhancement with a novel Internet-based system that incorporates semantics and intelligent knowledge representation to proactively engage patients and their caregivers who desire to be informed about clinical trials which might be relevant for their specific diagnoses, disease states and various other characteristics which might determine their likelihood of meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria for specific studies. The system will be frequently updated and contain an active educational component for providing recruits with information about the nature of clinical trials and provide a well-characterized, well-informed recruitment population.