The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has received a contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to enhance and maintain the Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF). NIF is an inventory of web-based neurosciences data, resources, and tools that scientists and students can access via any computer connected to the Internet. An initiative of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, the NIF seeks to advance neuroscience research by enabling discovery and access to public research data and tools worldwide through an open source, networked environment.
Under the contract, valued at up to $10 million over the course of five years if all options are exercised, the Center for Research in Biological Systems (CRBS) will apply its pioneering work in neuroinformatics and web-based information integration environments. UC San Diego professor of neurosciences, Maryann Martone, along with co-principal investigators Dr Jeffrey Grethe and Dr Amarnath Gupta, will lead a national collaboration that includes researchers at Yale University, the California Institute of Technology, George Mason University, and Washington University. The collaboration focuses expertise from the domains of neuroscience, information technologies, and knowledge management to enhance and deploy the NIF.
The NIF enables scientists and students to discover global neuroscience web resources that cut across traditional boundaries - from experimental, clinical and translational neuroscience databases, to knowledge bases, atlases, and genetic/genomic resources. It provides deeper access to a more focused set of resources that are relevant to neuroscience, search strategies tailored to neuroscience, and access to content that is traditionally 'hidden' from web search engines.
Recognising the need to develop a comprehensive framework of resources available to the neuroscience community, the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research launched the NIF initiative in 2005. A beta test of the NIF is accessible from http://nif.nih.gov/.
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