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Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery (CORES)

The Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery at IU School of Medicine consists of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and staff focused on providing research support services to surgical faculty and residents.

Under the direction of Teresa M. Bell, PhD, the Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery is a valuable resource for the IU School of Medicine Department of Surgery as faculty investigators work to integrate research efforts and collaborate with other surgical departments, schools and centers within IU School of Medicine. CORES offers expertise in research design, study methodology, primary and secondary data gathering and complex analysis.

Initiate a Consult

To initiate the consulting process at CORES, investigators may submit a consult request form. Collaboration and consultation begin by meeting to discuss the project and to estimate the amount of time required for completion. Some analytical issues may be solved during the initial meeting; however, most requests require further work.

Request Consult


Faculty development and support activities provided through the Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery include statistical support and training for faculty, residents and students engaged in outcomes research. The center helps faculty develop research aims and advises on study design; identifies and notifies faculty of relevant funding announcements; assists in manuscript development and grant writing as well as human subjects and financial compliance; and partners with faculty to migrate existing and to design new clinical registries for surgical patient populations.

The Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery provides expertise in budgeting for clinical research, manages clinical research coordinator efforts, and provides training to clinical research coordinators for best practices and data abstraction. CORES maintains a library of clinical databases that are freely available to faculty and residents at IU School of Medicine.

CORES also provides support in accessing public-use data from the inventory of secondary data sources that can be used independently or linked with other databases as appropriate to clinical and health services research.

Education Programs

The Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery conducts methodological workshops, hosts work-in-progress meetings, and provides research mentorship to junior investigators and residents. Center staff provide guidance to medical students and residents on outcomes research projects through several formal programs including the Surgery Research Elective, summer research internships, and residency two-year research fellowships.

Research Support

Research support services provided through the Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery include biostatistics tutorials, data management, geospatial analyses, grant writing and development, manuscript development, sample size and power calculations, statistical analyses, statistical consultation, and statistical programming. 

  • Biostatistics Tutorials
    Tutorials for standard analysis techniques including importing data, t-tests, ANOVA, correlation, linear regression, and logistic regression using SPSS, SAS or Stata.
  • Data Management
    Importing datasets from excel into SAS, SPSS, Stata; accessing data in Red Cap; creating new variables and datasets; updating/maintaining existing datasets as new data is generated
  • Geospatial Analyses
    Geovisualization, geostatistics, spatial regression, point pattern analysis, regional analysis
  • Grant Writing and Development
    Assistance reviewing grant applications, determining the statistical methods required to address the primary and secondary aims, writing, reviewing and/or editing the statistical analysis and power and sample size sections for proposals
  • Manuscript Development
    Writing statistical methods sections describing the analyses performed, creating tables, figures and graphs, reviewing the results sections to ensure statistical analyses are accurately conveyed
  • Sample Size and Power Calculations
    Determining the appropriate statistical test for study aim(s) of interest, obtaining estimates of potential effect sizes from investigators, using potential sample sizes provided by the investigator to determine power or necessary sample size
  • Statistical Analyses
    Linear regression, t-tests, Mann-Whitney tests, chi-square tests, logistic regression, mixed models, survival analysis, trajectory analysis, ANOVA, ANOCOVA, casual analysis using propensity score matching, difference in difference, instrumental variable analysis in an observational setting.
  • Statistical Consultation
    Discussion of the original problem in order to determine the statistical needs, periodic clarification during the work process to ensure accuracy, preparing and relaying the results in non-statistical language, reviewing results with the investigator to be sure they know what the results mean
  • Statistical Programming
    SAS and Stata programming for data management, sample size and power calculations, and statistical analyses

CORES Research Team

The Center for Outcomes Research in Surgery is led by Director Ben Zarzaur, MD, MPH.