Building a data infrastructure for conducting research in Ukraine

By Randolph Lucas, Pablo Destefanis, Craig Hollingsworth, Mary-Anne Ardini-Poleske, Martha DeCain

This report describes the IT infrastructure and health information exchange system (HIES) software developed for the International Consortium for Applied Radiation Research (ICARR) project. The research was conducted under a cooperative agreement funded by the US Department of Energy in collaboration with RTI International, Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and the Research Centre for Radiation Medicine in Ukraine. The ICARR research consortium was formed to study how the human body responds to primarily low-level nuclear radiation exposure. A major component of the project was the creation of a cohort of workers hired to secure the deteriorating object shelter that surrounds Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant reactor #4. These consenting workers provided medical data and biological samples to the consortium for research testing. A significant challenge to the project was setting up an information technology system for data capture, data transmission, and information sharing among the international consortium partners. This paper describes how project goals and the research environment shaped the IT solution that was successfully deployed within nine months of contract award.


Lucas, R., Destefanis, P., Hollingsworth, C., Ardini-Poleske, M-A., & DeCain, M. (2010). Building a data infrastructure for conducting research in Ukraine. (RTI Press Publication No. RR-0012-1009). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press.

© 2019 RTI International. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Randolph LucasRandolph Lucas, MS, is a senior research programmer/analyst in RTI International’s Research Computing Division. For the International Consortium for Applied Radiation Research (ICARR) project, he served as the data processing task leader overseeing the design, development, testing, and deployment of the infrastructure and applications.

Pablo DestefanisPablo A. Destefanis, MS, is a senior systems engineer for RTI’s Center for Information, Communications, and Technology. He provides technical coordination and expertise to international projects in information systems.

Craig HollingsworthCraig R. Hollingsworth, MA, is an IT/QA specialist in the Software Quality Assurance Group of RTI International’s Research Computing Division. He specializes in system security documentation and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) guidelines and controls as they relate to the system Certification and Accreditation (C&A) Process.

Mary-Anne Ardini-PoleskeMary-Anne E. Ardini-Poleske, BA, is a senior clinical studies director in RTI’s Statistics and Epidemiology Unit. She was the ICARR Project Director.

Martha DeCainMartha J. DeCain, BSBA, is a research health analyst in RTI’s International Studies Program in Statistics and Epidemiology. For the ICARR project, she served as deputy director, overseeing the fiscal status of the project and subcontracts, and as business manager.

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