International diabetes research knowledge portal opens
Researchers funded by the NIH and the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH) have expanded a recently launched online library, called a knowledge portal, which allows open-access searching of human genetic and clinical information on type 2 diabetes. Individual data will remain confidential. The portal includes information from several major international networks, collected from decades of research.
A product of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) for type 2 diabetes, the portal is aimed at advancing type 2 diabetes research and treatment, and will include data from more than 100,000 genetic samples obtained from clinical consortia supported by the NIH and FNIH. AMP is an innovative project of government, industry and nonprofit organizations working together to speed research in type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
“The knowledge portal will allow us to translate differences in an individual’s genome into an understanding of how those differences affect a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By harnessing the power of international data sets, we can also better account for differences in race, ethnicity and locality,” said Philip Smith, Ph.D., of the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
The portal is publicly searchable and can be used as a tool to learn about genetics and health. Still, only approved researchers will be able to access detailed data, while the general public can access aggregate results.
The portal’s creation was led by David Altshuler, M.D., Ph.D., while at Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in Cambridge. Jose Florez, M.D., Ph.D., also from Broad Institute, and Michael Boehnke, Ph.D., and Goncalo Abecasis, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, were awarded respective grants from NIDDK and FNIH to continue the portal’s development.
In addition to NIH, support for the AMP type 2 diabetes project includes Eli Lilly, Janssen R&D, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi U.S. Services, as well as the nonprofit organizations FNIH, JDRF International and the American Diabetes Association.