Faculty & Staff

Nickie Cappella

Director, Research Informatics
Work Phone: 412-624-5459
Photo of Nickie Cappella

Biographical Info

Research Interests:
  • Clinical Research Informatics
  • EHR data extraction
  • Registry and Population Management
  • Data Analytics
  • IT Project Management


Health Record Research Request (R3):

Health Record Research Request (R3) is a service of the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) managed by the Chief Research Informatics Officer (CRIO), sponsored in part by the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and Institute for Precision Medicine.  Pitt and UPMC desire to make clinical data available for research. Under the CRIO, on behalf of UPMC, DBMI staff provision data for research (in some cases as Honest Brokers). R3 is this service or process of provisioning UPMC clinical data and of authorizing additional UPMC data sources for research. R3 is available for use by researchers of the University of Pittsburgh, and for UPMC projects requiring research datasets.


PaTH is a Clinical Research Network comprised of Geisinger Health System, Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Health System, Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Temple Health System, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC and UPMC Health Plan, The Ohio State University, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, University of Michigan, and Michigan Medicine. The network’s combined resources follow a longitudinal cohort of approximately 14 million diverse individuals across a variety of health care settings to maximize the ability to conduct meaningful patient-centered outcomes research and develop a learning health system to which patients and providers jointly contribute.  PaTH uses clinical data from electronic health records (EHR) and patient reported outcomes (PRO) to answer questions of clinical importance to patients, providers, and other stakeholders. Expected outcomes of the CDRN are to conduct patient-centered observational studies on weight across the multiple institutions, and to answer patient-centered research questions regarding recruitment techniques, patients’ weight management strategies, and how health care providers contribute to their weight management approaches.


The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) transforms the translational science process for more efficient patient access to healthcare innovations. NCATS’ mission “strives to develop innovations to reduce, remove, or bypass costly and time-consuming bottlenecks in the translational research pipeline in an effort to speed the delivery of new drugs, diagnostics and medical devices to patients,” and provides funding support for the University of Pittsburgh’s CTSA program. The Biomedical Informatics Core provides informatics support and, in particular, supports maintenance of the Accrual of patients to Clinical Trials (ACT) data repository network that enables cohort identification for clinical trial accrual across 21 CTSA sites.

Pitt Data Commons:

Led by Dr. Michael Becich (Biomedical Informatics), and Dr. Liz Lyons (Information Science), the goal of the Pitt Data Commons initiative is to create a partnership with many of the computational and information entities across the University of Pittsburgh to develop a “data commons” that will serve teaching, research and library needs for information (data/data science) and informatics expertise/methods/tools in the greater Pittsburgh region.


The National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB) is a virtual biospecimen registry designed to support and facilitate basic science, clinical, and translational research that will advance understanding of mesothelioma pathophysiology with the goal of expediting the discovery of preventive measures, novel therapeutic interventions, and ultimately, cures for mesothelioma. Funding for the NMVB is provided by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Categories: Staff