Johns Hopkins, Northwestern among institutions leading new National Center for Data to Health

Five researchers from across the U.S. will lead the National Center for Data to Health, a program established through a five-year, $25 million cooperative agreement from the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

The researchers — from Portland-based Oregon Health & Science University, Baltimore-based The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Evanston, Ill.-based Northwestern University, Seattle-based University of Washington and Sage Bionetworks — are tasked with overseeing a national health informatics program encompassing a network of 50-plus medical research institutions.

Through the National Center for Data to Health, researchers will coordinate informatics activities from across the network, develop best practices for data projects, promote software standards for interoperability, advance biomedical research tools and provide data science education to participants. They will also develop methods to evaluate the impact of informatics efforts in the healthcare industry.

The program, part of the Clinical and Translational Science Award at the NIH, aims to provide medical and academic institutions with a research infrastructure.

"The goal is to unlock the amazing wealth of technologies and innovation located within each individual CTSA and to create cohesive communities of practice founded on the fundamental premise that team science, data sharing and collaborative innovation can advance patient care," said lead researcher Melissa Haendel, PhD, an associate professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology at OHSU.

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