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

The disease-based driving biology projects (DBP's) serve as the testbed of i2b2. It is where we field, test and debug the methodologies and tools developed in Cores 1 and 3. For this reason we recognize that it is incumbent on us to use the DBP's to maximize interactions, oversight and corrections in the directions of Core 1 and 3. Consequently for each DBP, we have ensured the following:

  • On each DBP there is an assigned computational/bioinformatics co-investigator to ensure that there is a very close collaboration between the clinical-genomic investigator and the methodologies and tools developed in Cores 1 and 3. Also this computational co-investigator provides a tighter loop for feedback and advice than would be ordinarily available.
  • Frequent meetings between the clinical investigators of each DBP and the methodologists from Core 1 and 3 (see Zak Kohane's blog for details).
  • Data sharing for a twice a year showcasing of Cores 1 and Core 2 to the PI’s and teams of the DBPs with formal feedback and requests for emphases in particular veins of methodology or tool development.

Our DBPs have been selected with the following criteria:

  • The diseases in question are of clinical significance.
  • The PIs have particularly strong research track records.
  • The proposed research plans are good models for future clinical research using genomic technologies in combination with traditional clinical data types.
  • The PIs evinced strong and enthusiastic willingness to work together with computational researchers and engineers to help improve/further their own research agenda.
  • The degree to which the methods developed will be models for clinical research of  “complex diseases” in which a component of their phenotype show familial aggregation, but no clear Mendelian segregation. This is not to say that there will not be many productive clinical investigations of largely monogenic disease for a long time to come and indeed one of our DBP’s is placed foursquare on the transition from monogenic to complex diseases.

View current and past DBPs.

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