i2b2: Informatics for Integrating Biology & the Bedside - A National Center for Biomedical Computing
About Us Overview

Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside (i2b2) is an NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing (NCBC) based at Partners HealthCare System in Boston, Mass. Established in 2004 in response to an NIH Roadmap Initiative RFA, this NCBC is one of four national centers awarded in this first competition (http://www.bisti.nih.gov/ncbc/); currently there are seven NCBCs. One of 12 specific initiatives in the New Pathways to Discovery Cluster, the NCBCs will initiate the development of a national computational infrastructure for biomedical computing. The NCBCs and related R01s constitute the National Program of Excellence in Biomedical Computing.

The i2b2 Center, led by Director Isaac Kohane, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School at Children's Hospital Boston, is comprised of six cores involving investigators from the Harvard-affiliated hospitals, MIT, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. This Center is funded under a Cooperative agreement with the National Institutes of Health.

The i2b2 Center is developing a scalable computational framework to address the bottleneck limiting the translation of genomic findings and hypotheses in model systems relevant to human health. New computational paradigms (Core 1) and methodologies (Cores 3) are being developed and tested in several diseases (airways disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Huntington’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, major depressive disorder, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis) (Core 2 Driving Biological Projects).

The i2b2 Center (Core 4) offers a Summer Institute in Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics for qualified undergraduate students, supports an Academic Users' Group of over 250 members, sponsors annual Shared Tasks for Challenges in Natural Language Processing for Clinical Data, distributes an NLP DataSet for research purpose, and sponsors regular Symposia and Workshops for the community.

Dissemination (Core 5) of i2b2 tools to the national science community occurs through a public portal based at Harvard Medical School and will be further facilitated by an anticipated partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine to facilitate transfer of new technologies to institutions working with underserved populations. The i2b2 components, membership and dynamics among them are depicted in the following figure.

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