PI Profile Pages Go Live
The IRP Web Site To Offer Central Listing of NIH PIs
by BEN CHAMBERS, SPECIAL TO THE NIH CATALYST
Finding information on the approximately 1,200 intramural principal investigators (PIs) spread across 23 NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) has often depended on networking with other scientists or browsing multiple Web sites.
In September 2012, the Intramural Research Program (IRP) Web site (http://irp.nih.gov) launched the first wave of PI profiles, which included nearly 400 researchers in six intramural programs: National Cancer Institute–Center for Cancer Research (NCI-CCR), National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and Center for Information Technology (CIT).
The IRP profiles provide uniform “snapshots” of intramural investigators’ research as well as links to more information on IC Web sites. Each profile includes “Research Topics” for an overview of an investigator’s work, “Biography” for educational training and other information, up to five “Selected Publications,” and a list of one or more of the 21 “Scientific Focus Areas” (SFAs) into which a PI’s research can be broadly categorized.
Visitors to the IRP site can look up PIs by name or by SFAs. For example, if someone is looking for research on chromosome biology, choosing that SFA on the search page will result in links to all IRP investigators with a major focus on chromosome biology. The PIs themselves, with the help of others at their ICs, are determining the appropriate SFAs.
“There is a wealth of talent at the NIH, but sometimes it is hard to find just the person you want to work with or someone who can help you solve a thorny problem in the laboratory or clinic,” said Deputy Director for Intramural Research Michael Gottesman. “The new, uniform PI profiles will make all of our talented principal investigators easily and immediately accessible.”
The IRP PI profiles won’t replace current PI Web pages on IC Web sites; instead they will complement what may already exist and use information from PIs’ home profiles. To avoid the confusion caused when multiple profiles exist for each PI, the IRP Web site populates its profiles with data pulled from IC Web sites, so the information remains in sync. The IRP profiles will also provide visibility for PIs who don’t already have profiles on their IC Web sites.
The technical team tackling the challenge of compiling and formatting profile data from 23 intramural programs operating within unique information environments includes architect Jeff Shilling (NCI-CCR), Yang Fann (NINDS), Mark Fredriksen (NHGRI), and Rohit Paul (NCI-CCR).
PI profiles will be continually added to the IRP Web site throughout the year and into 2013. When completed, the IRP Web site will include profiles of all of the approximately 1,200 PIs at the NIH.
For more information on the profile integration process, contact Mark Fredriksen at email@example.com or 301-721-6345.