Mount Sinai Researchers Receive NIH Grant to Develop New Ways to Share and Reuse Research Data
NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase to seek best practices for storing, accessing, sharing and computing on biomedical data
Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) will receive part of a $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help launch the pilot phase of a Data Commons, a new way to share and provide access to data generated during biomedical research. The goal of the NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase is to accelerate biomedical discoveries by making biomedical research data more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). The NIH Data Commons will be implemented in a four-year pilot phase to explore the best ways to make digital objects available through collaborative platforms on public clouds and other virtual environments.
“Harvesting the wealth of information in biomedical data will advance our understanding of human health and disease,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. “However, poor data accessibility is a major barrier to translating data into understanding. The NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase is an important effort to remove that barrier.”
“I am excited to collaborate with teams around the country to identify better ways to manage and mine research data. This effort is expected to propel many toward better understanding of diseases and identification of novel treatments,” said Avi Ma’ayan, PhD, Professor of Pharmacological Sciences and Director of the Mount Sinai Center for Bioinformatics at ISMMS, and the Principal Investigator of the grant. “In this age of large-scale data generation, it is imperative that researchers can fully exploit available research data to inform research decisions to maximally further scientific discovery.”
ISMMS and 11 other recipients of the award will form the nucleus of an NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase Consortium in which researchers will start developing the key capabilities needed to make an NIH Data Commons a reality. These key capabilities, which were identified by NIH, collectively represent the principles, policies, processes, and architectures of a data commons for biomedical research data. Key capabilities include making data transparent and interoperable, safe-guarding patient data, and getting community buy-in for data standards.
“This work will lay the foundation for accessing and connecting large data sets which will have a profound effect on scientific knowledge,” says Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and President for Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Health System. “We thank the NIH for their support and recognition and are excited to be part of this national project.”
Three NIH-funded data sets will serve as test cases for the NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase. The test cases include data sets from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) and the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TopMed) initiatives, as well as the Alliance of Genome Resources (AGR), a consortium of Model Organism Databases (MOD) established in late 2016. These data sets were chosen based on their value to users in the biomedical research community, the diversity of the data they contain, and their coverage of both basic and clinical research. While just three datasets will be used at the outset of the project, it is envisioned that the NIH Data Commons efforts will expand to include other data resources once the pilot phase has achieved its primary objectives.
NIH has acquired support from a federally funded research and development center, the MITRE Corporation, to assist in establishing new sustainable infrastructure for data science (people, processes, technologies). The MITRE Corporation will provide a broad range of support services for the NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase, including innovative approaches to assure cost-effective cloud-based computing and storage for scientific data; analyses related to usage, cost, and comparative business models; and other considerations to assure long-term viability of NIH data science efforts.
The Mount Sinai Health System is taking a leading role in precision medicine through research and clinical programs that include personalized cancer therapy programs and improved monitoring of chronic disease conditions, such as diabetes.
About the NIH Common Fund: The NIH Common Fund encourages collaboration and supports a series of exceptionally high-impact, trans-NIH programs. Common Fund programs are managed by the Office of Strategic Coordination in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives in the NIH Office of the Director in partnership with the NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. More information is available at the Common Fund website: https://commonfund.nih.gov.
About the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI): Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov.
About the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI): NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health. The NHGRI Extramural Research Program supports grants for research, and training and career development at sites nationwide. Additional information about NHGRI can be found at www.genome.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City's largest integrated delivery system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai's vision is to produce the safest care, the highest quality, the highest satisfaction, the best access and the best value of any health system in the nation. The Health System includes approximately 7,480 primary and specialty care physicians; 11 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 410 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. The Icahn School of Medicine is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools", aligned with a U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" Hospital, No. 12 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding, and among the top 10 most innovative research institutions as ranked by the journal Nature in its Nature Innovation Index. This reflects a special level of excellence in education, clinical practice, and research. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of top U.S. hospitals; it is one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Orthopedics in the 2019-2020 "Best Hospitals" issue. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital also is ranked nationally in five out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 12th nationally for Ophthalmology and Mount Sinai South Nassau is ranked 35th nationally for Urology. Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, Mount Sinai West, and Mount Sinai South Nassau are ranked regionally.