Centre of Epidemiology Seminar – Professor Paul Burton
|Starts:||13:45 5 Nov 2015|
|Ends:||15:30 5 Nov 2015|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Institute of Population Health|
|Who is it for:||Current University students, University staff|
Host: Institute of Population Health
About the event:
Professor Paul Burton from the University of Bristol will give a talk on:
BIG data: a new paradigm for working with sensitive information
Research in modern biomedicine and social science requires sample sizes so large that they can often only be achieved through a pooled co-analysis of data from several studies. But the pooling of information from individuals in a central database that may be queried by researchers raises important ethico-legal questions and can be controversial. These reflect important societal and professional concerns about privacy, confidentiality and intellectual property.
DataSHIELD provides a novel technological solution that circumvents some of the most basic challenges in facilitating the access of researchers and other healthcare professionals to individual-level data. Commands are sent from a central analysis computer (AC) to several data computers (DCs) that store the data to be co-analysed. Each DC is located at one of the studies contributing data to the analysis. The data sets are analysed simultaneously but in parallel.
The separate parallelized analyses are linked by non-disclosive summary statistics and commands transmitted back and forth between the DCs and the AC. Technical implementation of DataSHIELD employs a specially modified R statistical environment linked to an Opal database deployed behind the computer firewall of each DC. Analysis is then controlled through a standard R environment at the AC. DataSHIELD is currently being developed as a flexible, easily extendible, open-source way to provide secure data access to a single study or data repository as well as for secure co-analysis of several studies.
About the speaker:
Paul Burton is Professor of Infrastructural Epidemiology at the University of Bristol. With Madeleine Murtagh (Professor of Social Studies of Health Science) he co-leads the transdisciplinary D2K (Data to Knowledge) Research Group. Historically, his own research has subsumed three major themes: (1) methods research in biostatistics and genetic epidemiology – particularly generalized linear models (GLMs) and generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs), with a focus on using Bayesian approaches to model fitting and statistical inference; (2) applied researchin genetic epidemiology and complex disease epidemiology; and, most recently, (3)infrastructural development in contemporary bioscience, including theory and practice pertaining to the design, set up and harmonization of major biobanks, and the challenges and opportunities presented by the need to ensure secure, streamlined access to national and international repositories of data and biosamples.
Role: Professor of Infrastructural Epidemiology
Organisation: University of Bristol
Travel and Contact Information
Ellen Wilkinson Building