Stimulus grant to build research resource network

Project “eagle-i” will find scientific resources to improve human health while saving money

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tina M Shelton, (808) 692-0897
Dir of Communications, Office of Dean of Medicine
Posted: Nov 4, 2009

Recent history has taught that it is critically important for agencies, such as those in law enforcement, to communicate with one another and pool their information and resources.
Science, too, can benefit from that approach. Among the major obstacles to the advancement of biomedicine and to rapidly turning research discoveries into treatments is the lack of awareness about existing research resources within a given institution and nationwide.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced an award to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and eight other institutions to build a search engine that will improve research communication and collaboration.
A nearly $15-million dollar “economic stimulus” grant is supporting the partnership among the institutions, which in addition to UH Mānoa include Harvard University (MA), Dartmouth College (NH), Jackson State University (MS), Morehouse School of Medicine (GA), Montana State University (MT), Oregon Health & Science University (OR), University of Alaska at Fairbanks (AK) and University of Puerto Rico (PR). The project is named “eagle-i.”
"Most or nearly all institutions across America don’t know what research resources they already possess," said Richard Yanagihara, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), who is Principal Investigator of the UH portion of the project. “The project name, ‘eagle-i’, is meant to illustrate the goal of identifying bioscience resources which are currently invisible,” said Yanagihara.
Guylaine Poisson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences, will serve as the on-site  Informatics Leader for the UH effort. "I am delighted that Bioscience will be strengthened and integrated with other bioscience initiatives and resources,” said Martha Crosby, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of UH Mānoa’s Information and Computer Sciences department. “Multidisciplinary bioscience research is a priority growth research area for our department. Having access to the most current knowledge of biosciences resources will not only enhance biomedical research in the state of Hawai‘i but will also facilitate global collaborations."
Hawai‘i’s portion of the grant is about $600,000, which will create three new jobs: two “resource navigators” and a data-entry specialist. The team will meet with research faculty members campus-wide to inventory research resources and gain a much clearer view of what is available at UH Mānoa.
JABSOM Dean Jerris Hedges noted that the effort will enhance the team-science approach in bioscience research and save money. “By joining forces, scientific advancement should be accelerated while time and money are saved,” said Dr. Hedges. "These are lean times and we must leverage our collective resources to achieve the most good. Having this grant will provide some tools to help us with that task."
The increased collaboration and savings from eliminating redundancies will help to speed the development of new diagnostics, treatments and strategies for disease prevention. All software developed in this project will be freely available to biomedical institutions in the non-profit sector.
The activities described in this release are being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. More information about the Recovery Act/NIH/NCRR grants can be found at All Recovery Act/NIH grants can be found at

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