Discovery Park

Indiana translational medicine institute pioneers secure federated identity management

May 11, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Translational medicine researchers from across the country can now access a range of data and advanced technology resources using the user ID and password of their home institution. The Indiana Clinical Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) HUB provides federated identity management -- allowing researchers to use resources such as medical databases, high performance computers, and life science visualization tools in multiple distributed locations without the need to remember yet another password and login procedure.

Elaine Collier, M.D., from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources -- a partner in the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) effort -- said, "Indiana CTSI is leading the way in the important task of federating resources in the NIH-supported CTSA, along with the NIH and other partner institutions."

Federated identity management is a key foundation for translational medicine -- the area of medicine that translates laboratory research into life-saving bedside healthcare -- as well as for e-Health, which increasingly requires the electronic sharing of private research data and HIPAA-protected patient information.

William Barnett

William Barnett

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"Indiana has an active statewide translational medical community involving researchers, clinicians, practitioners, industry, and the public," said Dr. Bill Barnett, associate director for the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) and director of Information Infrastructures at the Indiana CTSI. "By deploying federated identity support, the Indiana CTSI HUB can create a trusted online environment in which people can come together, easily access state-of-the-art technologies and services, and use them to work collaboratively to improve health care practice and outcomes while protecting patient privacy."

The Indiana CTSI HUB (www.indianactsi.org) is an online virtual organization portal developed though a collaboration of the IU Pervasive Technology Institute, the IU School of Medicine, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame.

The Indiana CTSI HUB is based on the HUBzero virtual organization platform (www.hubzero.org) developed by Purdue University. HUBzero is based on Web 2.0 services, allowing the creation and use of modular, extensible, and shareable applications that are designed to support the next generation of research collaboration needs.

"Through the IndianaCTSI.org web site, discoveries made in our laboratories will be put into practice sooner by medical professionals," said Connie M. Weaver, distinguished professor of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University and deputy director of the Indiana CTSI. "We have already the powerful capacities of hubs in nanotechnology because of nanoHUB.org, and I envision that the Indiana CTSI HUB will likewise accelerate clinical research in Indiana and with partners around the world."

The Indiana CTSI HUB provides central, easy-to-use online resources for translational research and medicine. It enables users to perform an integrated search of distributed data resources, laboratory facilities, and online medical simulation tools valuable to translational medicine. Users can also find research collaborators, educational programs, and information on technology transfer, public health resources, and funding opportunities.

The virtual community created by the Indiana CTSI HUB includes researchers, industry, policy makers, and the general public. Though these individuals may be hundreds or thousands of miles apart, they are able to stay connected and work together on collaborative projects using the Indiana CTSI HUB.

The Indiana CTSI HUB is a participant in the InCommon identity federation (www.incommon.org), which currently claims 95 participating institutions; federal organizations such as the NIH, the National Science Foundation, and The Energy Sciences Network; and industry partners including Microsoft and Apple.

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