The main goals of the Collaborative Tools Support Network (CTSN) is to 1) provide the collaborative link needed between the BIRN Coordinating Center (BIRN CC) which supplies the BIRN infrastructure and the research community using the tools developed by the current BIRN testbeds and 2) provide outreach to scientific communities (including domains other than neuroimaging) and to provide those communities with assistance in adopting the BIRN resources. The CTSN brings together the Principal investigators, Project Managers and key personnel of each of the BIRN testbeds go off-line. This model will allow the testbed institutional memory and knowledge base to remain intact and be available to the larger community, while allowing the resources to be used in flexible manner as new collaborative projects emerge in fields no covered by the currents testbeds. Our experience has shown that groups seeking BIRN technology and assistance require broad range of time investment on the part of the CTSN. Therefore, we have chosen a model that responds to these needs. The CTSN will provide expert assistant for projects ranging from short term (e.g., help with tool Installation) to the long term (e.g., CTSC's that seek integrate BIRN technology into their existing environment). In addition, the CTSN will provide vigorous outreach to the scientific community. NIH rules now require data sharing plans for grants with costs over $500,000. The CTSN will help BIRN position itself as a data-sharing resource for the NIH community. CTSN members have deep experience In the many steps to data sharing, from writing data-sharing applications to local Institutional Review Boards, to the modification of database schemas as data from new domains are added, to the deidentificatlon of data. The deep experience that CTSN members also have in developing tools to interoperate with the BIRN infrastructure will also be crucial as members of the outside community bring their tools into the BIRN toolset.

Public Health Relevance

(provided by applicant): The Collaborative Tools Support Network will provide support for current users of the tools developed by the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) and work to broaden their use into domains outside of the current user base.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Resource-Related Research Projects--Cooperative Agreements (U24)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-BT-5 (01))
Program Officer
Yang, Liming
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
Zip Code
Herrick, Rick; Horton, William; Olsen, Timothy et al. (2016) XNAT Central: Open sourcing imaging research data. Neuroimage 124:1093-6
Labus, Jennifer S; Dinov, Ivo D; Jiang, Zhiguo et al. (2014) Irritable bowel syndrome in female patients is associated with alterations in structural brain networks. Pain 155:137-49
Schuler, Robert; Smith, David E; Kumaraguruparan, Gowri et al. (2012) A flexible, open, decentralized system for digital pathology networks. Stud Health Technol Inform 175:29-38
Torri, Federica; Dinov, Ivo D; Zamanyan, Alen et al. (2012) Next generation sequence analysis and computational genomics using graphical pipeline workflows. Genes (Basel) 3:545-75
Chervenak, Ann L; van Erp, Theo G M; Kesselman, Carl et al. (2012) A system architecture for sharing de-identified, research-ready brain scans and health information across clinical imaging centers. Stud Health Technol Inform 175:19-28
Dinov, Ivo D; Torri, Federica; Macciardi, Fabio et al. (2011) Applications of the pipeline environment for visual informatics and genomics computations. BMC Bioinformatics 12:304
Helmer, Karl G; Ambite, Jose Luis; Ames, Joseph et al. (2011) Enabling collaborative research using the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN). J Am Med Inform Assoc 18:416-22
Marcus, Daniel S; Fotenos, Anthony F; Csernansky, John G et al. (2010) Open access series of imaging studies: longitudinal MRI data in nondemented and demented older adults. J Cogn Neurosci 22:2677-84
Roe, C M; Mintun, M A; Ghoshal, N et al. (2010) Alzheimer disease identification using amyloid imaging and reserve variables: proof of concept. Neurology 75:42-8