DMICE Faculty to Play Major Role in New OHSU-Led National Center for Data to Health

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) is the lead institution in a new award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to establish a National Center for Data to Health (CD2H). The center emanates from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program and its major goal is to support the use of health data, algorithms and information systems to bridge basic science and clinical research.

The contact PI of the project is Melissa Haendel, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE). Dr. Haendel co-director of the NCATS-funded Biomedical Data Translator, the Monarch Initiative, and the OHSU Library.

The newly awarded grant provides $25 million over five years to establish the new center, which aims to foster collaboration across more than 50 premier medical research institutions within the CTSA network. According to Dr. Haendel, “The goal is to unlock and coordinate the unique wealth of technologies and innovation that each participating institution brings. Team science, data sharing, use of informatics to integrate and analyze data and collaboration will ultimately improve the care of patients.”

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The specific aims of the center are to (1) harmonize the data ecosystem, (2) realize a software tool ecosystem, (3) synthesize a people ecosystem, and (4) catalyze technical and cultural evolution. The center’s “Idea to Implementation (I2I)” pipeline will leverage the above aims, develop community, and demonstrate translational impact in diverse domains, such as Rare Disease and Lifespan and aging.

Partners in the project include Northwestern University, University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Sage Bionetworks, Scripps Research Institute, Washington University, the University of Iowa, and the Jackson Laboratory. The governance structure of the project is shown in the figure from the grant proposal.


A number of DMICE faculty will play major roles in the project as follows.

In addition to serving as an overall project leader, Dr. Haendel will lead Policy for Ontologies/Standards, Operations for Rare disease, Operations for People & Attribution, and will participate in Data and Engagement teams.

Rob Schuff, MS, instructor, will also instantiate the use case elements more directly related to standardization of common clinical data elements against research data warehouses and provide guidance to others working to improve their data and software interfaces and standardization. He will be pivotal in assisting with the technical requirements, development, implementation in Software, clinical data systems expertise in Data and domain application expertise for Rare Disease and Lifespan.

Ted Laderas, PhD, assistant professor, will assist with the development and assessment of materials in Education, as well as participate in Data, Software and Lifespan

David Dorr, MD, MS, will serve as the Coordination Lead for Lifespan and participate in Data, Evaluation and Education.

Shannon McWeeney, PhD, professor and vice chair, will serve as the Policy lead for Education as well as participate in Evaluation, Engagement, Software and Lifespan.

Nicole Weiskopf, PhD, assistant professor, will participate in Data, Engagement, and Lifespan.

Beth Wilmot, PhD, assistant professor, will participate in Data, Software, Lifespan and Rare Disease, providing her domain expertise as well as her experience in diverse methodologies for analysis of complex traits and management, integration and visualization of large, multi-omic, multi-site data sets.

William Hersh, MD, professor and chair, will serve as the Operations Lead in Education and participate in Engagement and People, Expertise and Attribution.