By Ashlynn Neumeyer:

Anna Roberts is the new data navigator for the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), where she serves as a resource for investigators across Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame who are looking to harness data expertise available through the Regenstrief Institute. Roberts succeeds Faye Smith, who is now Director of Research Services at Regenstrief.

Anna Roberts, data navigator
Anna Roberts (Regenstrief Institute photo)

As data navigator and assistant manager of Regenstrief’s Data Core, which is a designated core of the Indiana CSTI, Roberts is responsible for responding to researchers’ requests for information, meeting with new investigators to explain Regenstrief data resources and assigning and completing feasibility tickets when requests are made. Roberts said she is looking forward to making projects possible for Indiana CTSI investigators, as well as helping them make valuable networking connections across the state.

Roberts received a bachelor’s degree in english and spanish from Purdue and a master’s degree in information science from IU. After working at a doctor’s office for several years, Roberts started an internship, which transitioned to a full-time position as manager of research data, at Northwestern University. Roberts has worked as a data analyst at Regenstrief since 2013.

Roberts said she is more than willing to help out any Indiana CTSI researcher in need of direction. Those who would like to request Roberts’ advice can email her at annarobe@regenstrief.org. Read on to learn more about Roberts and data resources available to CTSI investigators.

Q: In your own words, please explain the role of an Indiana CTSI data navigator.
Anna Roberts: Like the name implies, navigators help investigators and project teams navigate research resources by networking, linking, sharing, introducing, and connecting. Our experience and connections are the “map” that guides us as we assist you in order to keep your project moving toward its destination.

Q: Describe your background and how this helps you help other researchers.
Roberts: I have been a Data Analyst with the Regenstrief Data Core for five years, working with (and adjacent to) a number of departments and investigators and with a variety of data sources and tools. Our team has been closely tied to the CTSI for a long time, well before we became a CTSI core. Whether you’re looking for data, tools, CTSI resources and groups, or collaborators, I want to help you make connections and find the means for your project to succeed!

Q: What are some of the exciting resources and expertise that the Indiana CTSI brings to investigators?
Roberts: The Indiana CTSI operates a network of groups that offer help across many stages and realms of research: pilot funding, mentorship, recruitment, biobanks and much more. In Indianapolis, with the IU School of Medicine nearby, there is a wealth of experience and expertise to tap into.

Q: Is there anything about the Indiana CTSI that you wish researchers on your campus knew more about?
Roberts: Thanks to the Indiana CTSI, investigators can request feasibility counts for their particular cohort from the Data Core; these counts, taken from our unique data sources, can be used for study feasibility and grant applications. I would also highlight the availability of the biobanks on campus, which can be linked to medical record data for robust data pulls.

Q: What would you say to encourage researchers to engage the Indiana CTSI in their current and/or future projects?
Roberts: Visit the Indiana CTSI website and read up on all of the great things the CTSI is doing and offering. Don’t wait until the last minute; take advantage of the request forms and contacts that are available for information and assistance!

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