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Beyond Data Storage – ImmPort Offers a Platform for Future Research Advances

ImmPort is a unique Web portal that contains archival data from a wide range of NIAID-funded immunology studies spanning basic research and clinical trials. ImmPort also provides online tools that allow any researcher to easily and quickly visualize the results of their own analyses of the data. The portal enables the integration of data from a variety of laboratories and supports collaboration between scientists, helping to generate novel hypotheses and potential new discoveries.

ImmPort screen

Accelerating Knowledge Discovery

With recent technological advances, the bottleneck in research has moved from generating and collecting experimental results to storing and analyzing large volumes of data promptly and thoroughly. Large datasets can prove cumbersome for an individual laboratory to manage or even to share. Over the years, the establishment and expansion of open-access databases has begun to address these needs of the research community. As a result, data can now be easily integrated and analyzed in different ways, leading to new interpretations and hypotheses.

In 2004, the Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation (DAIT) recognized the need for a central repository to archive and integrate the enormous amount of immunological data generated by NIAID-funded scientists and the need to make the data available for re-analysis by all scientists. NIAID brought together a multidisciplinary team of bioinformaticians, computer scientists, and experts in immunology and other scientific disciplines to create ImmPort, which supports all areas of immunological research, including general immune function, disease-specific immunity, and biodefense. While ImmPort focuses primarily on DAIT-funded research, it also hosts other data sources, including studies from NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center.

Promoting Research Collaboration

Unlike other databases, ImmPort houses data in a standardized format to permit full integration and comparison of studies. Analysis tools allow investigators with no programming experience to visualize the results of data reanalysis in a quick and easy manner.

ImmPort provides a platform for researchers to work collaboratively, allowing for a greater exchange of ideas and practical outcomes. Free access to data and tools enables scientists to explore new dimensions and develop concepts that would have been impossible without the consolidation of data from individual groups. As ImmPort grows, so does the opportunity for future immunological advances.

ImmPort

NIAID Bioinformatics Integration Support Contract (BISC)

Last Updated September 17, 2013

Last Reviewed September 17, 2013