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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / August 2023 / Office of Research IT Seeks to Support and Accelerate Research with Technology Solutions

Office of Research IT Seeks to Support and Accelerate Research with Technology Solutions

Yvonne M. Watson Yvonne M. Watson

Co-Director of Strategy Operations

Mike Conklin Mike Conklin

Co-Director of Technical Services

The Office of Research IT—previously Research and Academic IT—has a new name, a new home in the UR CTSI, and new leadership under co-directors Mike Conklin and Yvonne M. Watson. Despite these changes, the office is renewing its commitment to help all researchers across URMC leverage technology to improve research outcomes.

“Our key message is that Research IT strives to advocate for URMC researchers and helps them solve technology challenges, remain secure, and accelerate their research,” Yvonne M. Watson, co-director for strategy operations said. “The biggest shift that Mike Conklin and I want to reinforce is that we are here to help navigate this often-challenging IT space with the support of specialists that can point you in the right direction, from consulting services to data storage, to application and software development support, as an IT partner.”

Research IT seeks to bridge the gap between researchers and technology that enables and improves the efficacy of research. This includes support of the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) system, robust research data storage and compliance options like School of Medicine Network Attached Storage, expert guidance and consulting, desktop IT support services, server management and system administration, application development, and more.

“We will continue working with researchers to help them learn more about resources they may not have known about previously,” said Mike Conklin, co-director for technical services.

Research IT staff will provide guidance, help select the appropriate technologies, and provide on-going support for researchers of all disciplines and skill levels at URMC.

“Having a dedicated group of individuals focused on the research mission will enable our investigators to better leverage the rich technology and computational resources available at URMC, opening the door to new cross-disciplinary research,” said Paula Vertino, PhD, the senior associate dean for basic research.

A key component within the service portfolio of Research IT includes providing secure methods for gathering and storing research data, from laboratory to clinical research. While adjusting to new data backup and security policies can be challenging at first, the benefits they provide are immeasurable.

“You don’t want to lose your data,” Conklin said. “Why risk your life’s work on something that could be hacked, corrupted, or lost?”

As a partner organization, Research IT serves as a representative for the unique technology needs of the School of Medicine & Dentistry research community within the larger, centralized IT organizations at the University. Although Research IT is now housed within the administrative structure of UR CTSI, it serves all researchers across URMC.

“We are very proud to support the Office of Research IT within the Clinical & Translational Science Institute and are excited to support their mission of serving URMC researchers,” said Martin Zand, MD, PhD, co-director of UR CTSI.

Researchers interested in learning more should visit the Office of Research IT site, email smdithelp@urmc.rochester.edu, or call the dedicated support line at (585) 274-4444.

“We have a real opportunity to help researchers,” Watson said. “You don’t have to go it alone. Let us help you define what you need. Come to us and we will consult with you on the best options and secure practices.”

Jonathan Raab | 8/22/2023

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