Western Regional Biomedical Collaboratory Creating a culture for collaboration.
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Western Regional Biomedical Collaboratory Creating a culture for collaboration
WRBC mission statement Create and maintain a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration in biomedical research among universities in the Western US Overcome challenges in research and information management by Increasing knowledge Enabling good decisions Enhancing learning Aiding in discovery and innovation Providing knowledge management
Specific aims of WRBC Build on existing human and technological infrastructure Assess the resources and needs within the participating institutions Develop a prototype distributed information management system Develop an implementation plan for biomedical research collaborations
Background WRBC funded through NLM Integrated Advanced Information Systems (IAIMS) planning grant program Project period 3/2007 – 2/2009 Grantee: University of Wyoming Center for Rural Health Research and Education (CRHRE)
How Did We Get Here? BRIN/INBRE/COBRE programs Strengthened biomedical research capacity in “smaller” states Established connections among Western research universities Lariat project Enhance Internet connectivity for Western INBRE institutions
How Did We Get Here? Distributed information management systems Remote data acquisition Secure data sharing Based on TELELAB work with NASA in mid-90s Collect lab data at a distance Collect results from labs worldwide securely and reliably
Research “Collaboratories” Centers “without walls, in which the nation’s researchers can perform their research without regard to geographical location” (W. Wulf, 1989) Interaction with colleagues Accessing instrumentation Sharing data and computation resources Accessing information in digital libraries
Collaboration is essential in biomedical research Scale and complexity of research problems Combinations of skills and disciplines Access to scarce resources Sharing of data, tools, and results to reduce time to desired outcomes
Maximizing effectiveness in biomedical research Providing institutional infrastructure for archiving electronic information Integrating external and internal data via data and communication standards Creating formalisms for ownership of and access to information consistent with policies
Maximizing effectiveness in biomedical research Providing infrastructure to rapidly adopt new methods Supporting group communication among researchers, including tools for sharing data, information and resources Facilitating interdisciplinary interaction and opportunities for training (particularly in bioinformatics) [2002 IAIMS Report, NLM]
Potential collaborations Computational resources/bioinformatics Equipment and facilities Rural/frontier research issues Education INBRE RFA (announced as I was writing this!) …
“5 things I’ve learned” – Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia You need mechanisms in place for effective collaboration. Online identity is important. A successful collaboration requires a shared vision. Organizations are becoming flatter. Speed is incredibly important.