Data Integration Shared Resource (DISR)

The Data Integration Shared Resource (DISR) is co-led by Mr. Sandeep Kataria (Director of Oncology Informatics) and Margaret Wright, PhD (Senior Research Scientist). DISR fosters innovation at the intersection of individual and population-level data, clinical and public health research, and data analytics. The goal of the DISR is to support cancer researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago in leveraging data to conduct studies across the cancer control continuum that address the needs of our communities.

Request Resources from DISR.

Our Services

With the support of DISR, researchers can:

  • Determine the types of data needed to answer research questions of interest
  • Obtain, aggregate, visualize, and securely store data
  • Ensure research questions address one or more catchment area cancer-relevant priorities (and if not, how to ensure alignment) 

Services and resources support cancer researchers by providing multidimensional data and geospatial analysis to address the needs of the catchment area.

These services include:

  • Identification, curation, and linkage of multidimensional data to support the investigation of hypotheses related to cancer biology, prevention, treatment, and survivorship (including social epigenomics)
  • Secure storage in the Cancer Data Shelter (IRB# 2018-0577) for data obtained from patients screened for or diagnosed/treated for cancer 
  • Visualization of cancer-relevant data through maps, charts, plots, and infographics 
  • Consultation regarding disease-specific cohort identification and feasibility analyses
  • High-Performance Computing (HPC) solutions for high throughput computing and running omics pipelines

Technologies and Equipment

  • The University of Illinois Cancer Center CADS data repository, which houses:
    • Clinical data from UI Health cancer patients (14 years of EHR and tumor registry data)
    • Clinical trial information
    • Research and treatment outcomes data
    • Biomarker data (including “omics”: epigenomics and metabolomics)
    • Biospecimen information (blood, urine, tissues from the UI Health biorepository)
  • Population-level data dashboards, powered by Metopio – web-based platforms for Cancer Center members and community leaders that provide population-level spatial data at multiple geographic levels. Data are available for hundreds of indicators in the following domains: demography, social and economic factors, physical environment, health behaviors, clinical care, morbidity, and mortality
  • TEMPUS LENS – a platform that offers access to de-identified tumor genomic sequencing data collected from thousands of UI Health cancer patients
  • Epic tools, including Epic Cosmos and Slicer Dicer, which DISR co-leaders have training and approval to use. Epic Cosmos integrates billions of clinical data points from 193 million patients across the US. For cancer patients, it includes information about detailed oncology visits, cancer staging, advanced lab results, hospitalizations, and standard outpatient visits. Slicer Dicer is a data exploration and analytics tool that allows users to find, refine, and visualize patient data.
  • Disease Specific Cohort (DSC) tool is a self-service discovery software developed by the Cancer Center that allows users to conduct real-time patient cohort discovery. The DSC quickly filters data from the Tumor Registry to stratify data based on disease site, race/ethnicity, vital status, and stage in order to return a cohort that researchers can use to plan protocols or grants.

Meet Our Team


Our team leaders are:

Sandeep Kataria

Sandeep Kataria, Director of Oncology Informatics

Sandeep Kataria is charged with creating an integrated data architecture and environment that allows researchers to interact visually with their data. Having planned and implemented large scale, multiple source data integrations, he brings to the table knowledge and an experience in excess of 22 years in cancer data management.
margaret geise wright

Margaret Wright, PhD, Senior Research Scientist

Margaret Wright, PhD, is a cancer epidemiologist with over 20 years of experience in the conceptualization, design, and execution of all phases of clinical, epidemiological, and practice-based research. Her expertise include catchment-focused cancer research, leveraging population-based data from local, state, and national sources, and data visualization and mapping.

Additionally, DISR is staffed by 5 full-time and 2 part-time employees, including:

  • Arash Jalali, MPH, MSHI. Cloud Solutions Manager
  • Prajwal Khot, MS. Expertise with Genomic data visualization
  • Divya Sistla, MSBA, Expertise in big data management and ML-AI
  • Ekas Abrol, MS. Expertise in GIS, data visualization, and data science
  • Abdul Wahab, MS. Web applications developer
  • Urvashiben Patel MSBA, Expertise in data mining and visualization
  • Sushma Suda MSBA (Class of 2024), Expertise in data mining and visualization

Citing DISR

Please acknowledge the Cancer Center’s DISR Shared Resource in your written products (grants, publications, etc…) and presentations as follows: 

“We acknowledge the support of the University of Illinois Cancer Center Data Integration Shared Resource (DISR) for their data and dashboard services.”

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