Jackson State University has joined a national research consortium that will help biomedical scientists throughout the United States accelerate their research by quickly and effectively sharing resources on scientific advances.
Called Eagle-i, the consortium has been awarded a $7.5 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
The team will create a national resource discovery network that will enable biomedical scientists from anywhere in the United States to use a web-based portal to search resource inventories at nine participating sites and request access to resources that will advance their scientific endeavors. As the project progresses, additional sites will be able to add to the inventory of resources.
“National networking provides opportunities for scientists to collaborate in new, exciting ways to improve abilities to uncover underlying pathways and mechanisms of biology and to develop new diagnostics, treatments and prevention strategies,” said NCRR director Dr. Barbara Alving.
The nine-member team includes Jackson State’s Research Centers in Minority Institutions Translational Research Network (RTRN) Data Technology Coordinating Center in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Harvard Medical School, Dartmouth University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Montana State University, Oregon Health and Science University, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Hawaii Manoa and the University of Puerto Rico.
The racially and ethnically diverse institutions span the country from rural to urban areas to ensure broad applicability and national impact. More than four dozen jobs will be created across the consortium to support the process of collecting and curating resource information, as well as developing the informatics infrastructure to store, connect, and search the data.
“Jackson State University will be recognized for its pivotal role in this exciting project that will have national impact on the scientific community,” said James Perkins, associate dean of JSU’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology Office of Research. Perkins also serves as the director of the RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN) Data Technology Coordinating Center (DTCC) at JSU, which will manage the university’s components of the project.
“This team’s efforts will optimize the process of inventorying and cataloguing vital research technologies available at JSU and expedite our researchers’ ability to identify and retrieve impactful tools for practical scientific application,” Perkins said.
Based at the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU, the RTRN Data Technology Coordinating Center is a state-of-the-art, highly-computerized data coordinating hub for the Research Centers in Minority Institutions Translational Research Network. It provides the technology infrastructure and data management resources to facilitate inter-institutional collaborations, including community engagement, information and data sharing, and dissemination across the diverse Research Centers in Minority Institutions communities to improve health outcomes, especially for underserved populations.
For more information, call RTRN Data Technology Coordinating Center communications director Traci Hayes at 601-979-0333 or visit http://www.rtrn.net.