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$15 million stimulus award creates national consortium for revealing scientific resources
Date:11/2/2009

BOSTON, Mass. (Nov. 2, 2009) A scientist opens an Internet search engine and types in the name of a rare but necessary cell line needed for his research. Within moments, he sees that a researcher at another nearby university has generated just the kind of cell line he needs, and sends her an email to learn more about it and start the discussion about access.

Right now this kind of rapid resource discovery is highly unusual. The majority of existing research resources cannot be found easily, if at all, using university websites, the scientific literature, or Internet search engines. The scientist would likely never know that the cell line was available, and would spend months developing his own.

But over the next two years, collaborators from Dartmouth University, Harvard Medical School, Jackson State University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Montana State University, Oregon Health and Science University, the University of Alaska, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Puerto Rico will build a national research resource discovery network that will allow biomedical scientists to quickly find previously invisible but potentially valuable research resources (e.g., technologies, animal models, equipment, cell and tissue banks, training opportunities). At first this network will only access the initial nine sites, but eventually any institution in the US will be able to participate.

This new consortium, called the eagle-i Consortium, was founded with a $15 million American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) grant from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR; part of the NIH) and supports an NCRR goal to establish a national network for research resource discovery. A portion of the funding will help create more than four-dozen jobs.

By making it easier for researchers to search for and find things like animal models, reagents, tissue banks, core laboratories, the eagle-i network will help reduce the time and eff
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Contact: Thomas Ulrich
thomas_ulrich@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-7808
Harvard Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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