New Open-access Data Resource Aims to Bolster Collaboration in Global Infectious Disease Research

Population-based epidemiological studies provide new opportunities for innovation and collaboration among researchers addressing pressing global-health concerns. As with the vast quantities of information emerging in other fields, from economic modeling to weather surveillance to genomic medicine, the technical challenges of sharing and mining gigantic datasets can hamper such efforts. A single epidemiological study—tracking the acquisition of functional resistance to malaria, or the relationship of diarrheal disease to developmental outcomes—may involve tens of thousands of clinical observations on thousands of participants from multiple countries.

To overcome these hurdles, an international team of researchers has launched the Clinical Epidemiology Database, an open-access online resource enabling investigators to maximize the utility and reach of their data and to make optimal use of information released by others.

The development of ClinEpiDB has been led by the University of Pennsylvania’s David Roos, the E. Otis Kendall Professor of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Christian Stoeckert, research professor of genetics in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, along with Jessica Kissinger, distinguished research professor of genetics at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Bioinformatics, and Christiane Hertz-Fowler, professor at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Integrative Biology.

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