Privacy-Preserving Shared Access to Computing on Sensitive Data: A Feasibility Study


Fri May 16, 2014


Ying Zhang
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences


Privacy Preserving Shared Access to Computing on Sensitive Data (DBP 7)





Objective Explore the feasibility of developing and implementing a data access “sharing” model for researchers who are interested in using the Strong Heart Study (SHS) data for scientific studies and find out if such model will meet the approval of the SHS participating tribes and the NIH data sharing requirements.
Methods Develop an approach to data access “sharing” that does not require data to be transmitted out of the institution in which they are collected, but that still allows certain types of information to be derived from these data, without compromising individual or institutional privacy. The method can be generally referred to as “distributed computing”.
The scope of our work  1. Generate artificial data for variables collected in the SHS to test the feasibility of this data sharing model. 2. Assist in obtaining tribal feedback about this data sharing model. 3. Assist iDASH investigators to develop and implement the data sharing model and to obtain local IT collaboration. 4. Find out if the implementation of the data sharing model satisfies the NHLBI/NIH requirements.
Progress and Conclusion Local IT support has been obtained and some statistical analysis tools have been developed. This study will provide important information regarding data sharing while preserving the privacy of individual participants in scientific studies



Dr. Ying Zhang is an assistant professor of research in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She got her M.D. in 1991, M.S. of health statistics in 1994, and Ph.D. of health statistics in 1998 from the West China University of Medical Sciences. Then she finished six years of postdoctoral training in bio-statistics and epidemiology in the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She has worked as a biostatistician in the data coordinating center of the Strong Heart Study (SHS), the largest epidemiological study of American Indians ever undertaken, and have provided statistical consultation, data analysis, and study design support to SHS researchers across the country and American Indian communities in Oklahoma in the past 14 years. She has published over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Professor Zhang’s current faculty responsibilities include teaching biostatistics classes and researches that include cardiovascular diseases and diabetes epidemiology, intervention trials, and genetic studies among different populations especially among American Indians. In her spare time, Professor Zhang enjoys reading, gardening, and cooking for her family.


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