Informatics MIDB Service Hubs

Informatics Hub: Advancing our understanding of brain development by harmonizing data across different species, studies, and modalities

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Our Expertise

We are experts in aggregation, integration, and dissemination of basic, applied, clinical, and pre-clinical science data for MIDB stakeholders and collaborators.

Embedded directly in UMN’s Research Computing unit, which houses the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute and UMN Informatics Institute, we work closely with the Analytics core and other UMN specialists to facilitate research and training.

Informatics core directors Benjamin Lynch and Thomas Pengo

Benjamin Lynch, PhD, Associate Director for Scientific Computing, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

Thomas Pengo, PhD, Director of Applications and Services, U of M Informatics

Our Team

Monalisa Bilas

Monalisa Bilas, MIS
Research Consultant, MSI


Kimberleigh Breen, BA
Data Manager

Maren Macgregor-Hannah

Maren Macgregor-Hannah
Project Manager

Timothy Hendrickson

Timothy Hendrickson, MS
Neuroimaging Informatics Manager


Jeff Shi, PhD
Project Lead

Jesus Garcia

Jesus Garcia
Linux Systems DevOps Engineer

Erik Lee

Erik Lee, MS
Neuroimaging Analyst

Benjamin Lynch

Benjamin Lynch, PhD
Associate Director for Scientific Computing, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

thomas pengo

Thomas Pengo, PhD
Director of Applications and Services, U of M Informatics  


Borgne Raasch
Data Steward

Devin Willis

Devin Willis
Linux Systems DevOps Engineer

Examples of Our Engagement

students walking in hallway


The Informatics Core worked with the EPINET team to outline a data workflow for the project and generate reports. We also worked with the EPINET team to deliver data exports to the EPINET National Data Coordinating CenterLearn more about EPINET.

big data

Dysfunctional State Representations in Psychosis

The Informatics Core provided assistance by formatting data, developing data dictionaries, and setting up storage locations to facilitate the primary workflows. We have also initiated creation of  more advanced repositories for future use. This project is widely distributed across several teams and multiple species. Learn more about the project here.

data sets overlapping

Brain Wide Association Studies (BWAS)

The Informatics Core performed an analysis on the entire UK BioBank data set to address the reproducibility of Brain-wide Association Studies (BWAS). This effort involved a tightly coordinated effort to manage data and computation involving 300 core-years of computation within a month (3600x speed-up) to complete this effort. 

data sets and workflow

Project Management (LORIS)

The Informatics Core developed infrastructure for deploying LORIS, a database with a web front-end for managing multi-modal brain research data.  We have deployed a proof-of-concept instance, uploaded the dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, establishing proof-of-concept configuration and remote analysis, and presenting to leadership at National Institutes of Health.