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Prometheus Research Awarded $700,000 NIH SBIR Grant To Improve Open Source Tools For Autism Research

NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Prometheus Research, an integrated data management services provider, announced today that it has been awarded $700,000 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to extend its Open Source Research Exchange Database (RexDB) for the management of autism spectrum disorders research. The project aims to empower autism investigators to make more effective use of their data and more efficiently exchange data across the scientific community.  

"RexDB is already the data collection, data warehousing, and data sharing software platform of choice for numerous longitudinal multidisciplinary research studies at leading academic research institutions. This Phase I grant will enable smaller labs and clinics to also leverage RexDB by funding the development of novel self-service technologies," explained Dr. Leon Rozenblit, CEO of Prometheus Research and Principal Investigator on the project.

The previous version of the Research Exchange Database was initially developed to meet the needs of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) for use on their pioneering multi-site autism study, the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC). In that study, one dozen universities across North America collected and analyzed data from over 2,700 families with at least one child affected by autism. The resulting genetic and phenotypic repository, known as SFARI Base, also relies on RexDB technology. Since the SSC, RexDB has been adopted by leading academic research centers across the US to overcome the unique challenges of mental and behavioral health research.

Collaborating with Prometheus on the grant are the Yale University Child Study Center, the Marcus Autism Center, Weill Cornell Medical College, the University of Missouri Thompson Center, and others. 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.

"RexDB will allow researchers to make better use of scarce research dollars, and thus help accelerate progress our understanding autism and other mental disorders," Dr. Rozenblit added. "We're honored that the NIH has chosen to support the next iteration of RexDB."

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