Harvard Catalyst Profiles

Contact, publication, and social network information about Harvard faculty and fellows.

Networking Research Resources Across America


Nine institutions of different sizes, geographical location, and culture have come together to build and implement a Federated National Informatics Network that will allow any investigator across America to discover research resources that are presently invisible. Our Team, named Networking Research Resources Across America includes Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Jackson State University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Montana State University, Oregon Health &Science University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Hawaii Manoa, and University of Puerto Rico and truly spans America from coast to coast. By the end of the two year funding period, we will deliver to NCRR: 1) nine sites capable of independently discovering invisible research resources as well as maintaining and updating their own research resource inventory, 2) a local inventory management system that will be the backbone of a Federated Network yet will permit individual sites to control their own data, 3) a simple user friendly comprehensive data query system that will permit anyone to search all the Federated Network Sites for research resources, 4) comprehensive reports assessing the quality and impact of the system, and 5) a method to add new sites to the Federated Network. To accomplish this goal, we will: 1) Build an inventory management and data inquiry system that will be installed at each site, 2) Establish nine geographically dispersed onsite teams to discover and inventory research resources, 3) Conduct two cycles of discovery, curation, dissemination, and assessment of research resources across all nine sites, 4) Conduct an assessment of each cycle and deliver a final report, 5) Use our successful implementation of discovering invisible research resources in a test case, to bring together resources addressing the national obesity crisis, and 6) Deliver the operating model, expertise, and software to NCRR. Our proposal details our plan, implementation strategy, aggressive timeline and benchmarks. We have selected obesity as our test case because our sites are uniquely poised to attack this healthcare crisis. Our project will accelerate biomedical research across America by building and populating a Federated Research Resources Network that can be expanded to other sites essentially without limit. We will use the new capabilities offered by the Network to discover and share resources in a collaborative project focused on reducing the impact of obesity on the health of America.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE (provided by applicant): Inability to identify and access critical research resources is a major obstacle to the advancement of science and medicine. The development of a national infrastructure that would permit any investigator to discover all available research resources locally and at other institutions would greatly facilitate the pace of translation thus improving our ability to develop new diagnostics, treatments, and prevention strategies.


Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.