Cancer Data Science Pulse

NCIP Hub: A Platform for Scientific Collaboration, Resource Sharing, and Education

NCIP Hub Logo. Logo reads: "NCIP HUB: A Collaborative for Informatics in Cancer Research"

One of the major goals of the NCIP is to help facilitate open innovation and scientific collaboration in the cancer research and informatics community. To that end, we have undertaken several projects, two of which were the focus of previous blog posts: The Cancer Genomics Cloud Pilot, an initiative to democratize access to and provide the ability to compute on NCI genomic data; and the NCIP GitHub Channel, an effort to promote community-driven cancer informatics software development.

This post is about another project, the NCIP Hub, designed to support the changing bioinformatics needs of our community and move towards a vision of an informatics marketplace for cancer researchers.

The objective of the NCIP Hub project is to test-drive the HUBzero platform and assess its effectiveness for use by cancer researchers to collaborate on informatics in a virtual setting, and democratize access to community-generated data, tools, standards, and other resources. Our goal is to establish an NCIP Hub that can serve as a marketplace that allows cancer researchers to: share and access relevant informatics resources; upload, test, and develop relevant tools; and share, teach, and learn using the platform's collaboration and learning management capabilities.

HUBzero is an open source cyber-infrastructure developed by Purdue University. It was originally funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build an online collaboratory called NanoHUB. continues to be funded by NSF and is a Nanotechnology Computational Network (NCN) project, established in 2002 for advancing nanoscience. You can learn more about the capabilities of the HUBzero platform in presentation titled HUBzero: A Web-based Platform for Research, Education, and Scientific Collaboration, delivered by Dr. Michael McLennan of Purdue University.

As articulated by Daniel Atkins, Director, Office of Cyberinfrastructure, NSF (2008), The capstones of cyberinfrastructure investments are science gateways, a type of virtual organization that provides community access to integrated computational resources, data, and information, instruments, observatories, and to each other. Science gateways relax constraints of time and distance for knowledge-based collaboration, enable broadened participation in authentic research and learning, and promote synergy between research and learning from novice to expert level.

Success of any science gateway, of course, begins with your contributions of new content for use by other community members, whether data, tools, discussions, publications, or other materials of value to cancer researchers. If you would like to learn more about how you can contribute as an individual or a group, please contact me.

In upcoming posts, I will share more about our current efforts and near-term objectives as the community begins to leverage the capabilities of NCIP Hub.

Ishwar Chandramouliswaran
Program Manager, National Cancer Informatics Program, Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT)
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Dr. George Komatsoulis, CBIIT Deputy Director, Leaving the NCI
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NCIP Hub: Addressing Imaging Community Needs

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