Welcome to the new NCIP blog, and thank you for reading our inaugural post.
We plan to use this platform to share information with the community, patient advocates, scientists, and our internal team. Additionally, we hope to collaborate informally and brainstorm toward real research solutions. This blog reflects NCIP’s research interests, priorities, and initiatives, and is intended to support the cancer research enterprise through working with the community to achieve interoperable biomedical information systems built on community-driven data standards. We hope to build on the discussions and lessons learned from the NCIP Launch Meeting
NCIP leadership, staff, and invited guests will contribute feature posts on diverse topics relevant to the future direction of NCIP, biomedical informatics, and the cancer research community. These will include, but not be limited to open-source and open-development initiatives, next-generation sequencing, the promulgation of standards to support interoperability, and challenges surrounding big data, most notably data management and data integration. We will also be posting twice a month a brief “NCIP News Update” that will provide quick news nuggets about what’s going on in the program, such as teleconferences, meetings, etc. We will notify you via an NCIP Announce listserv email when we have posted a new blog entry.
We encourage your thoughts and comments, and seek your ideas on topics that you are interested in seeing addressed here. Post a comment or a question and sign up for the blog’s RSS feed. Please note that all comments are moderated as required by NIH and HHS, so it may take up to 24 hours for your comment to actually appear on the blog. Depending on the volume of comments, we may not be able to reply to everyone, but we will be monitoring closely for patterns and will create posts to address what appear to be the most popular topics and/or questions.
In closing, I’d like to say a word about our new NCIP logo. The logo is based on a stylized depiction of the DNA double helix. This suggests that the science itself and the needs of our research community are the forces which inspire our efforts to develop and disseminate informatics-based technologies. One helix comprises the four nucleotides that make up DNA’s biological code, while the other consists of the binary code of computation. The strands are complementary and, when combined, result in a structure that is greater than the sum of its parts. There could be no better symbolic depiction of the complementary interrelationships that exist among computational scientists, basic researchers, and clinical investigators today, when omics-based approaches and high-throughput technologies are being brought to bear to answer our most fundamental questions about cancer biology and care.
George Komatsoulis, Ph.D., is Interim Director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) and Chief Information Officer at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). You may reach George on Twitter (@GAK1965) or on LinkedIn.