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NIH launches big data portal for Alzheimer's research

March 5, 2015
by Gabriel Perna
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is launching a big data portal this week that aims to help Alzheimer's researchers develop new treatments for the disease. 
The portal is part of NIH's Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) initiative, which combines the resources of NIH, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), industry and academic scientists from a variety of disciplines to translate knowledge faster and more successfully into new therapies. The AMP-AD Knowledge Portal will include various datasets, which researchers say will ramp up development of predictive models of Alzheimer's disease. The involved teams will work within the portal to integrate molecular and clinical data from more than 2,000 postmortem brain samples.
“We are determined to reduce the cost and time it takes to discover viable therapeutic targets and bring new diagnostics and effective therapies to people with Alzheimer’s. That demands a new way of doing business,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. “The [Alzheimer's disease] initiative of AMP is one way we can revolutionize Alzheimer’s research and drug development by applying the principles of open science to the use and analysis of large and complex human data sets.”
Precision medicine is making headline these days after President Barack Obama announced a $215 million investment in the emerging field. The investment will provide the NIH, the FDA and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology support for various projects that aim to bolster precision medicine efforts in the United States.