National Sleep Research Resource Center to be established

A $7.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine will establish the NHLBI National Sleep Research Resource (NSRR), a comprehensive, easily accessible and well-annotated national repository of sleep data. The five-year grant will make data from more than 50,000 sleep studies available to sleep researchers across the country.

“The project represents efforts to use big data in powerful and cost-effective ways, leveraging prior investments in research data collection, with a goal of enhancing clinical and translational work in human sleep medicine and physiology,” said Susan Redline, associate clinical director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at BWH and principal investigator on the NSSR grant. “The resource will provide opportunities for investigators to address critical questions regarding subgroup susceptibility to sleep disorders; the impact of sleep disorders on important clinical outcomes; the role of sleep disorders as mediators in the pathogenesis of cardiopulmonary diseases; and genetic susceptibility to sleep disorders.”

“This project represents a true collaborative partnership among informaticians, data scientists, and clinical investigators,” said GQ Zhang, Division Chief of Medical Informatics and Professor of Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University. Zhang serves as the chief architect and principal investigator of NSRR.

“A national resource such as NSRR can only be achieved through innovative computer science and informatics approaches, using state-of-the-art data mapping, visualization and query tools to allow investigators to search and aggregate data across multiple studies and time points,” stated Zhang. The project objectives are well aligned with a number of recent national priorities such as NIH’s BD2K (Big Data to Knowledge) initiative; the BRAIN (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) project; and the Office of Science and Technology’s Open Science policy on increasing access to results of federally funded research.”