San Diego, Oct. 22, 2010 -- Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, led by Lucila Ohno-Machado, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics in the Department of Medicine, and other units including Calit2 and SDSC, have received two federal grants totaling more than $25 million to develop new ways to gather, analyze, use and share vast, ever-increasing amounts of biomedical information. Multiple researchers at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), including Kevin Patrick, Ingolf Krueger, Claudiu Farcas,
iDASH, which stands for Integrating Data for Analysis, Anonymization and Sharing, is one of five National Centers for Biomedical Computing awarded in this funding cycle, joining related centers at Columbia University in New York City, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (an academic center affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston) and Stanford University. iDASH was the only new center awarded by the NIH in a competitive process that involved proposals from seven existing centers, plus a large number of other aspiring institutions.
The other R01 research grant is for $8.3 million over three years and is also a transformative initiative. The SCAlable National Network for Effectiveness Research (SCANNER) complements the ideas and goals of the iDASH grant, making it easier to integrate data from health care systems.
SCANNER, led by Ohno-Machado at the SDSC, will create certified computational systems and architecture necessary to securely exchange health information collected at the point of care, so that the same data can be used for comparative effectiveness research. For example, researchers can assess the added value of a new medication or medical procedure in comparison with the current standard of care.
The grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Department of Health and Human Services. It involves partners in both academia and industry, among them San Francisco State University, Charles R. Drew University in Los Angeles, Vanderbilt University/Tennessee Valley VA, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard University, RAND Corporation, and Resilient Networks. By involving health care institutions serving diverse populations as well as interdisciplinary academic and industrial partners in the development of an architecture for secure information exchange, SCANNER takes effective steps into creating a national network health care and biomedical research data.
Biomedical informatics has become well-recognized by the NIH as an independent, scholarly field of research, collaboration and training. Ohno-Machado said these two grants recognize UC San Diego’s role as a major player in biomedical informatics and will add to other significant informatics achievements by the university in the past year, including structuring the informatics portions of UCSD’s $37.2 million Clinical and Translational Science Award, the Medical Educational Partnership Initiative with collaborators in Mozambique and Brazil, and the Global Health Informatics training grant.
“These achievements should come as no surprise, given the rich environment for high technology in San Diego,” said Ohno-Machado. “This is a perfect venue for developing and advancing the future of biomedical informatics.”
Scott LaFee, 619-543-6163, firstname.lastname@example.org