The Pharmaceutical Research Computing (PRC) center is comprised of information technology specialists, programmers, statisticians, and pharmacists who have expertise in data management and analysis.

Team members have clinical expertise in pharmacotherapeutics, knowledge of reference files (e.g., drug dictionaries, ICD-9-CM, ICD-10, CPT), and a firm understanding of research methodologies, which provide important contributions to study design, operationalization of variables, and data analysis. They have extensive experience working with:

  • Large administrative claims data such as Medicare, Medicaid, and MarketScan-BIG Data
  • Secondary data sets, including Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare, Surveillance, United States Renal Data System, and Veteran's Affairs
  • Primary data, including pharmacy and medical information such as service evaluations, patient or client surveys, and more.

Team Members:

Eberechukwu Onukwugha, MS, PhD
Executive Director
220 Arch Street
12th Floor, Room 208
Baltimore, MD, 21201
Phone: (410) 706-8981
Email: eonukwug@rx.umaryland.edu

Eberechukwu (Ebere) Onukwugha, MS, PhD, is an associate professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Ebere received her PhD in economics from Virginia Tech, with a concentration in econometrics. Her research interests include cost-effectiveness analysis, health disparities, and medical decision-making by individuals and institutions. She examines the costs and outcomes associated with health-related decisions, as well as the institutional and environmental context framing individuals' health-related decisions. Health-related decisions of interest include medication compliance, compliance with hospital discharge instructions, and compliance with treatment guidelines in the oncology and cardiovascular disease settings. Her research on the costs and causes of discharges against medical advice using quantitative and qualitative methods was supported by a K12 grant (1K12RR023250-01). Her research on cost-effectiveness and regression modeling has received Contributed Research Awards at international conferences sponsored by the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, and has been published in journals such as PharmacoEconomics, Medical Care, Value in Health, Urology, and Medical Decision Making.

Abree Johnson, MS, MBA
Director
220 Arch Street
12th Floor, Room 519
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 706-5396
Email: ajohnson@rx.umaryland.edu

Abree earner her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and MS/MBA, with a specialization in project management, from UMUC. She is an experienced project manager as well as data analyst using a variety of software applications such as MS Excel, SAS, and ArcGIS. Ms. Johnson has worked with investigators to construct variables from secondary data sources such as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for the past three years, and nearly eight years in working with HSCRC data. She has extensive experience managing data studies by operationalizing variables and creating study files needed for analysis. She is acutely familiar with the processes needed to develop detailed specifications for analytic file construction utilizing patient level clinical diagnosis, procedure coding systems (e.g., ICD-9-CM, KABCO), demographic and billing variables. She is accustomed to collaborating and coordinating with SAS programmers to prepare final project deliverables such as analytic files, tables, or reports. She has assisted many PIs with primary data collection using structured questionnaires and performed administrative tasks including completing institutional review board applications and preparing data use agreements or memorandums of understanding.

Zhaoyong Feng, MS
Biostatistician and SAS Programmer
220 Arch Street
12th Floor, Room 511
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 706-1498
Email: zhaoyong.feng@rx.umaryland.edu

Zhaoyong Feng serves as Pharmaceutical Research Computing’s (PRC) statistician. He is an experienced statistician and SAS Programmer who earned his BS in chemical engineering at Tianjin University in China. He has a master's degree in statistics from the West Virginia University. Prior to his appointment at University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Mr. Feng worked at Johns Hopkins University for almost 10 years. He is able to provide statistical expertise and experience in study design, data validation, data management, and data analysis. He has provided expert insight to PIs in the development of research methods and study design protocols that aid in conducting the statistical analysis. Mr. Feng has applied his expertise in using a variety of analytic methods (e.g., survival analysis, multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, multivariate logistic regression model, multivariate mixed-effects models, etc.) to support the research of different collaborators. He has assisted with two (2) major long-term follow up studies; active surveillance program for patients had low risk prostate cancer (20+ years) and radical prostatectomy follow up program (30+ years). Additionally, he has extensive experience in respective data analyses using data from large scale, national data set such as data from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, data from Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and National Cancer Database.

James Gardner, ScM
Statistician and SAS Programmer
220 Arch Street
12th Floor, Room 515
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 706-7559
Email: jgardner@rx.umaryland.edu

Mr. Gardner received his BS in mathematics in 1974 from Loyola College in Baltimore, Md., and his ScM degree in biostatistics with a concentration in epidemiology in 1978 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Mr. Gardner has been with the University of Maryland since 1980, first at the School of Medicine for 18 years, and now with PRC, where his experience has been primarily working with Maryland Medicaid and SEER data. He is a senior SAS programmer, focusing on the building of large data sets to be used in complex statistical models. With his knowledge of Excel, Access, and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), he has built data entry and management systems to facilitate primary data collection and to integrate the databases into SAS for statistical analyses across computer platforms. He has given numerous SAS seminars and conducted SAS users groups for the department. Mr. Gardner also appears as a co-author in numerous peer-reviewed publications, including JAMA, Pediatrics, and the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

Anne Linonis, BA
SAS Programmer
220 Arch Street
12th Floor, Room 517
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 706-3112
Email: alinonis@rx.umaryland.edu

Ms. Linonis has a BA from the University of Virginia. She is an experienced SAS programmer with more than 30 years of experience programming and teaching/tutoring others. Prior to joining PRC, she was the lead systems developer on Standard Economic Processing System (StEPS) for the Census Bureau. Ms. Linonis serves as the lead developer and instructor for PRC’s course “Programming with Healthcare Claims Data using SAS®“. She works within PHSR, assisting with the teaching of several PHSR courses and provides individual tutoring to graduate students.

Geoffrey Rowland
PRC Systems Administrator
Baltimore, MD 21201

Mr. Rowland has a BS in computer science from Frostburg State University. He brings more than a decade of experience in programming, web development, and systems administration to the team. Mr. Rowland is responsible for the performance, integrity, and security of all of PRC’s system operations and is instrumental in PRC's system operations and data maintenance. He has a strong background in Linux and open source software. Prior to joining the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Mr. Rowland worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from building systems to get climate information to rural populations of developing countries to designing and building infrastructure for a multi-media studio startup.

Patricia Stewart, BS
SAS Programmer
220 Arch Street
12th Floor, Room 521
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 706-3112
Email: pstewart@rx.umaryland.edu

Ms. Stewart has a Bachelor of Science with a major in mathematics education and a minor in health from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has more than 30 master's credits in the area of math education and computer science from the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Stewart is a SAS programmer and serves as one of PRC’s primary quality control reviewers. She has been a SAS programmer for more than 30 years, experienced in data manipulation using SAS data steps and macros. She has worked in SAS creating analytic files, summarizing and reporting results. She has more than five years of experience in processing and analyzing health care data sets, such as those from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) inpatient and outpatient data files. She has experience in creating analytic files and conducting analysis utilizing patient level clinical, demographic and billing data. Ms. Stewart teaches and lectures PHSR graduate students enrolled in the School of Pharmacy's Research Methods I and II classes. She also provides individual tutoring on SAS programming to the graduate students.