The National Institute of Health has announced that Harvard co-Principal Investigators Dr. Mercè Crosas and Dr. Timothy Clark are NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase Awardees.

The awards are part of the National Institutes of Health’s new Data Commons program, which will be implemented in a 4-year pilot phase to explore the feasibility and best practices for making digital objects including very large-scale genomics resources, available and computable through collaborative platforms. This will be done on public clouds, virtual spaces where service providers make resources, such as applications and storage, available over the internet. The goal of the NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase is to accelerate biomedical discoveries by making biomedical research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) for more researchers.

As awardees, Drs. Crosas and Clark will be a part of the NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase Consortium (DCPPC). After a kick-off meeting in December, the DCPPC has 180 days to develop a roadmap and working prototype services for a NIH Data Commons Pilot Phase.

Dr. Timothy Clark is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School; Computer Scientist at the Massachusetts General Hospital; Director of Informatics at the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease; and co-directs the Data and Statistics Core at the Massachusetts Alzheimer Disease Research Center.

Mercè Crosas is the Chief Data Science and Technology Officer at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard University. Together with the Director of IQSS, she leads the vision and strategic direction of the research software projects at IQSS, including the Dataverse project for data sharing and archiving, statistical and analysis packages, and the Consilience project for text analysis.

Clark and Crosas will be joined by co-Investigator Martin Fenner, the technical director at DataCite, a global non-profit organization that provides persistent identifiers (DOIs) for research data. The rest of the team includes Patricia Cruse (DataCite), Sarala Wimalaratne and Henning Hermjakob (EMBL-EBI), John Kunze and Greg Janée (California Digital Library), and Dan Katz (U. of Illionois Urbana-Champagne).