Prometheus Research has been awarded $450,000 by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to extend its Open Source Research Exchange Database (RexDB) for the management of anxiety disorders research, and more broadly, interventional research. The announcement comes on the heels of a $350K funding renewal for a previous SBIR grant to extend RexDB for autism research. The project aims to enable researchers to manage, share, and repurpose their research data more effectively by delivering an open-source integrated data management platform.

Empowering researchers to manage, share, and repurpose their data will accelerate research not only within individual labs but across the field as well. Improved data integration both within and across studies will be critical to initiatives such as the NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria, which seeks to map variation in biological and psychological processes to mental health problems across multiple levels of analysis (e.g., molecules to cells to behavior).

Researchers are increasingly expected to archive their data in online data repositories, such as the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), to improve the persistence and accessibility of data for repurposing. It’s expected that researchers will more likely submit high-quality data to these repositories if using RexDB, a tool that makes this process easier.

“In solving the clinical data integration problem, we’re enabling novel data types to be collected on the same individuals over time, as in the long-term follow-up phases of clinical trials or, more generally, in integrated registries,” explained Dr. Leon Rozenblit, CEO of Prometheus Research and Principal Investigator on the project. “RexDB enables users to configure and maintain registry data and search for potential patient cohorts for follow-up study or secondary data analysis based on a diverse set of prior information.”

Collaborating with Prometheus on the grant are researchers from Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, Ohio UniversityUniversity of Pittsburgh, and Northwestern University. SBIR grants are judged for scientific and technical merit, including significance of the problem being addressed, the innovative nature of the proposed solution, the overall strategy for execution, and the quality of the research team.