In May 2017, i2b2 and tranSMART Foundations merged to integrate the two leading information and analysis platforms that are used in the clinical and translational research to advance precision medicine around the globe.
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; 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.
The initial version of tranSMART’s data management system was developed in 2009 by scientists at Johnson & Johnson and Recombinant Data Corporation. It was used initially by pharmaceutical researchers in Johnson & Johnson’s Centocor R&D division. Since then, more than 100 other corporate, non-profit, academic, patient advocacy and government organizations have joined the tranSMART community.
Established in 2013, the tranSMART Foundation is a public-private partnership – the result of collaborations between scientists in the United States and the European Union. Founding partners include the University of Michigan, the Pistoia Alliance and Imperial College London.
The tranSMART Foundation will coordinate development of the next generation of tranSMART, which is being developed in collaboration with developers and users of eTRIKS and TraIT – two informatics/analytics knowledge management systems currently under development and supported by major European translational research initiatives. TraIT and eTRIKS are based on the tranSMART platform. The result will be one global informatics-based analysis and pre-competitive data-sharing platform for clinical and translational research.
For information: eTRIKS and the European Union’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)
For information: TraIT and the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM), a public-private partnership in the Netherlands