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USC awarded $22.2M NIH national biomedical informatics infrastructure coordinating center contract
Date:1/21/2009

The University of Southern California will be the new central clearing house for an ambitious ongoing national project to collect and integrate a wide range of biomedical data to make it more accessible to physicians and researchers.

The National Center for Research Resources, a component institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded USC a major grant to support the Biomedical Informatics Research Network Coordinating Center (BIRNCC) at USC.

Professor Carl Kesselman of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the USC Information Sciences Institute will lead the five-year, $22.2 million task to revamp and update a critical element of an evolving National Institutes of Health effort to improve access to the exploding volumes of biomedical research information.

BIRNCC brings together a network of researchers developing bioinformatics tools for the broader scientific community. USC is the lead partner on the project, which includes collaborations with UCLA, U.C. Irvine, the University of Chicago, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) is part of NIH's National Center for Research Resources. BIRN collects biomedical imaging data from institutions all over the country, currently with a heavy emphasis on neuroscience. The BIRN coordinating center has the task of facilitating collaboration and data sharing between the research centers.

BIRNCC will help ensure that important innovations reach society. As it stands, medical researchers develop many discoveries and therapies that never connect with people because of the overwhelming quantity of data that geneticists and others produce. BIRNCC will create a nation-wide computer network that facilitates collaborative biomedical research.

"Every day, NCRR's Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) helps connect scientists with their colle
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Contact: Eric Mankin
mankin@usc.edu
213-821-1887
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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