Finding the best ways to prevent and treat psychological health problems in military service members, veterans, and first responders

Biostatistics, Data & Computing Services Core


Jim Mintz, PhD
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Brad Pollock, PhD
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

To manage the vast amounts of data and complex statistics that come with a research consortium of STRONG STAR’s magnitude, the Consortium relies upon the exceptional expertise of its Biostatistics, Data & Computing Services Core (BDCS), which is led by Drs. Jim Mintz and Brad Pollock, both of whom have extensive expertise in managing large biostatistics cores for center grants.

STRONG STAR’s multiple clinical and exploratory studies work with varied active-duty military and veteran populations, and each study entails its own complex designs. The BDCS Core therefore keeps both the unique and overarching goals of each study in mind as it works to provide study-specific, computer-based tools for project management and coordination, and as it assists principal investigators with the collection, validation, storage, retrieval, analysis, and reporting of research data.

The objective of the BDCS Core is to facilitate STRONG STAR research by providing (1) a central repository for all of the data included in the research, (2) data entry and validation services, and (3) report generation and statistical programming services. It carries out this vital objective by

  • providing computer-based tools that facilitate the entry, storage, manipulation and retrieval of the large quantities of data generated by each research project;
  • ensuring the accuracy of the data maintained in the database through the development of human- and software-based data-consistency and quality-control systems;
  • providing high-quality data-entry services;
  • organizing and maintaining the database to maximize accessibility while maintaining strict confidentiality;
  • and providing statistical computing support.

The BDCS Core is a collaborative effort of the Biostatistics and Data Services Core of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Department of Psychiatry and the Informatics Division of the Health Science Center’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. This world-class team offers STRONG STAR exemplary resources and expertise in research planning and design; database creation and management; project management; data analysis and reporting; and scientific computing for large clinical trials and translational research. As Core personnel design and develop comprehensive information management systems for each STRONG STAR project, they are utilizing a combination of the latest computing and statistical tools – including SQL, ASP, ASP.NET, HTML, VisualBasic, Javascript, and SQL database engine software – along with a robust, extensible and well controlled set of security measures to ensure the confidentiality of study participants.

Core Contacts

Jim Mintz, PhD – Core Director
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Raymond Aguilar – Manager, Systems Administration
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio