USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Data Science Core

The mission of the Data Science Core of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USC Norris) is to provide integrated state-of-the-art biostatistics and informatics support to USC Norris investigators working on all aspects of cancer research from basic science to translational and clinical studies, and cancer etiology to cancer control.  The Data Science Core members work with USC Norris investigators on the planning, design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of cancer research studies. Core members also play a key role in clinical trials protocol review and study monitoring at USC Norris.

DSC Services

      • Collaborate in design of laboratory, clinical, and population studies.
      • Ensure the proper conduct of clinical trials and the integrity of the data collected.
      • Perform and assist in data capture, data wrangling, and data management.
      • Create websites, recruitment tracking solutions, biospecimen inventory management tools, and cohort identification solutions.
      • Perform complex statistical analyses.
      • Develop statistical designs and analytic plans in support of grant applications.
      • Contribute as coauthors and co-Is on manuscripts and grant applications.
      • Implement and develop reports for clinical trials in clinical trials management systems.
      • Generate identified and deidentified data sets for population studies.
      • Perform custom programming for websites, data unification, and cluster computing

DSC Policies and Procedures

Scope: The mission of the Data Science Core (DSC) is to provide consultation and support for research project design, informatics, data wrangling, and data analysis for cancer-focused peer-reviewed grant applications, cancer-focused clinical trials, and cancer-related publications. See full list of services above.  Individuals requesting services for non-cancer related research should contact the SC CTSI using this link:          

Process: When a request for services is received, DSC leaders will assess the feasibility and time required as well as the turnaround time. The DSC will provide up to 3 hours of free consultation for cancer-related peer reviewed grant applications.   Recharge fees will apply when the 3 hours of free consultation is exceeded, or alternatively, the investigator will be asked to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to provide salary support for DSC member(s) in the grant application budget, or budget to cover DSC recharge fees in the grant.  Investigators seeking help should contact the Data Science Core:

      • NIH P series, U series, and SPORE grants (and similar sized foundation grants): 4 months prior to deadline
      • R series and K series grants (and similar sized foundation grants): 2 months prior to deadline
      • Data analysis for manuscript or abstract submission: 1 month prior to deadline

Publications: It is expected that DSC members providing statistical support be included as co-authors on publications. Informatics professionals who make significant contributions should also be considered for inclusion as co-authors. Acknowledgment of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center CCSG grant (NIH-NCI grant # P30CA014089) in scientific manuscripts is required when Data Science Core services have been provided.

DSC Leadership

Ming Li, PhD


David Birtwell