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Supporting large COVID-19 research networks with Informatics for Integrating Biology & the Bedside (i2b2)

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 12:00 - Fri, 10/21/2022 - 13:00
DCI Network
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This event is part of the DCI Network Webinars on COVID-19 Data Platforms and Telemedicine event series.


View the recording and the slides.

Shawn Murphy, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology at MGH Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School (Secondary) and Griffin Weber, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School (Secondary)


The use of i2b2 will be illustrated in achieving high impact publications and participation in several high-profile national and international research networks to study COVID-19: (1) The Consortium for Clinical Characterization of COVID-19 by EHR (4CE) engages local experts in informatics, statistics, and clinical medicine at hospitals around the world to iteratively improve sites' data quality to gain trust in the data and to conduct rapid analyses on COVID-19 through a federated model and patient chart review. (2) Accrual to Clinical Trials (ACT) is a national federated network that connects i2b2 databases at 40+ institutions across the country, enabling researchers to access data on more than 100 million patients.


Shawn Murphy

Shawn Murphy currently serves as the Director of Research Computing and Informatics at Partners Healthcare and Associate Director for the Laboratory of Computer Science at the Massachusetts General Hospital where he developed the Research Patient Data Registry (RPDR) for Partners Healthcare. This application, which serves over 5,000 investigators performing research using the hospital medical record, served as the test bed for his work with Zak Kohane in developing the open source Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside (i2b2) software platform now operating at over 120 hospitals worldwide. Murphy’s contribution as chief architect of the i2b2 platform has served to strengthen the understanding of the metabolic and genetic underpinnings of complex diseases by developing an informatics framework to integrate data for clinical research from electronic health records.

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Griffin Weber

Griffin Weber directs the Biomedical Research Informatics Core (BRIC) at BIDMC. A result of his research in expertise mining and social network analysis is his invention of an open source social networking website for scientists called Profiles RNS, now used at dozens of universities across the country. It automatically mines large datasets such as PubMed, NIH ExPORTER, and the U.S. patent database to discover investigators' research areas and scientific networks. It then presents these connections using temporal, geospatial, and network visualizations. The software has numerous applications, ranging from finding individual collaborators and mentors to understanding the dynamics of an entire research community.

Weber is also an investigator on Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside (i2b2), an NIH National Center for Biomedical Computing, for which he helped developed a web-based open source platform that enables a variety of functions, including queries of large clinical repositories for hypothesis testing and identification of patients for clinical trials. He also created the original prototype software for the Shared Health Research Information Network (SHRINE), which is a federated query tool that connects i2b2 databases across multiple institutions. More than 100 institutions worldwide use i2b2 and SHRINE to support clinical research.

Weber received his M.D. and Ph.D. in computer science from Harvard University in 2007. While still a student, he became the first Chief Technology Officer of Harvard Medical School and built an educational web portal that provides interactive online content to over 500 courses. His past research projects also include analyzing DNA microarrays, modeling the growth of breast cancer tumors, and creating algorithms for predicting life expectancy.

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