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New open access data repository for autism research

Stanford University has announced a new and ambitious project to establish the world’s largest collaborative open access repository for data on autism. The project is called The Hartwell Research Technology Initiative, or iHART for short. The project goal is to provide the research community with a centralised repository for biomedical data on autism. It is hoped that the increased access to data will enable greater collaboration across research centres and institutions, and will lead to new techniques for intervention and detection.

The iHART project is funded by a $9 million grant from the Hartwell Foundation - a charitable organisation that grants awards for biomedical research to help children. iHART will be led by Dennis Wall, a specialist in autism spectrum disorder and Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The repository will have an integrated portal that will enable researchers to draw on a variety of data types, ‘including phenotypes, proteomics, metabolomics, genomics, measurements and imaging of brain activity, information on the gut microbiome, blood-based biomarkers, physician narratives, diagnostic test results and treatment protocols.’ (Stanford Medicine news centre). Through the portal users will also be able to integrate their own data.

See the press release here: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2015/06/9-million-grant-to-establish-open-access-autism-database.html

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