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Name of Collaboratory :


CardioVascular Research Grid (CVRG)


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 2007 End Date : Info Last Updated : Sat, Dec 4 2010 7:00am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Community Infrastructure Development  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :


Domain(s) :

  BIOLOGICAL/AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES >Biological Sciences >Biomedical Sciences  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


The aim of the CardioVascular Research Grid (CVRG) project is to create an infrastructure for sharing cardiovascular data and data analysis tools. The CVRG will support national and international multi-institutional collaborations in cardiovascular science, and will build on and extend tools developed in the caBIG and BIRN projects.

CVRG working groups (WGs) guide the process by which user needs are translated into action on the part of the CVRG team. Six WGs have been formed: a) computational anatomy & imaging; b) electrophysiology; c) data integration; d) clinical & epidemiological studies; e) cross-cutting technology; and f) user services). Each WG is chaired by a member of the CVRG Project team. The CVRG Program Manager Stephen Granite is a member of each WG. WG membership is dynamic - open to CVRG team members and all interested members of the user community. WGs are responsible for:

* soliciting input from the user community on technology needs
* translating this input into technology development proposals
* communicating these proposals to the SIC
* monitoring progress on technology development tasks approved by the SIC
* overseeing development, documentation, and dissemination of technologies
* determining the level of support to be provided to the user community for each technology
* broadening the CVRG user community through organization of outreach and educational activities.

Additional WGs can be added based on the needs of the user community. They emphasize that these WGs will be at the forefront of community engagement with the CVRG, and will therefore play a vital role in shaping the CVRG mission.


Access to Instruments :

  As an NHLBI resource, the CVRG is committed to the delivery of tools, deployed as analytic services on the grid, for analyzing cardiovascular data. Three different sets of tools are under development or have been deployed. These are: 1) an ECG data analytic service; 2) heart shape and motion analysis services; and 3) multi-scale biomarker discovery services.

Certain portions of these are accessible freely via the Web, and others require special permission.

Access to Information Resources :

  The goal of the CVRG Project is to address the informatics needs of the cardiovascular research community. To do this, they have defined a set of Driving Biomedical Projects that provide them input on tool development. The CVRG then develops and deploys these tools for use by the community. CVRG tools address four major needs:

* ontology development
* data management
* data analysis
* data integration and querying

Users may contract the CVRG team to set up an instance of the CVRG infrastructure at Johns Hopkins University, with it functioning much like a data coordination repository. This provides users with a rapid, easy mechanism for managing project data. Alternatively, users may download CVRG tools and install them locally to complement already existing resources. In either case, the availability of CVRG tools help users to quickly assemble an infrastructure for managing and analyzing clinical research data. Each use has its own costs & agreements associated with it. The CVRG team developed the CVRG infrastructure to be flexible enough to handle each use.

Ontology Development

The main benefit of ontologies is to provide a way to organize knowledge for subsequent retrieval. The CVRG team has registered two ontologies with the National Center for Biomedical Ontologies (NCBO) in their Bioportal. These include electrocardiography and cardiac electrophysiology. Through collaboration with the NCBO, CVRG tools access these ontologies, for use in annotating data.

Data Management

The CVRG team has developed an infrastructure for managing multi-scale data. They define "primary data" as data obtained directly from data acquisition instruments. They define "derived data" to be data calculated from primary data. One benefit of the CVRG infrastructure is it manages the primary and derived data together, associating them directly with one another. Another benefit is that the infrastructure allows for the sharing of both primary and derived data. This allows for the (re-)analysis of the the primary data and the comparison across all the derived data.

Data Analysis

The CVRG team has developed services for analyzing cardiovascular data. These services include ECG analysis, heart shape and motion analysis and decision tree analysis. One benefit of the CVRG services is the users do not need their own computational resources to analyze the data. Another benefit is that the services can allow for processing large datasets in an asynchronous manner (i.e., the user submits the data for processing and returns when the job is done).

Data Integration

The most common sentiment across the CVRG community is the desire to integrate multi-scale data, to provide insight into cardiovascular disease and bring novel solutions to pre-existing conditions. Through data integration, the CVRG provides the benefit of allowing clinicians, epidemiologists and biostatisticians with the ability to combine multi-scale data. The CVRG infrastructure has tools to allow users to filter the multi-scale data based upon specific criteria and return those results to them.

While this concept works well within individual clinical studies, a common sentiment among the statistical community is that the number of subjects in the individual studies is not large enough to derive statistically significant results. Another benefit of the CVRG is that its infrastructure and data integration methods are capable of expansion beyond the realm of a single clinical study. With more trials using the CVRG infrastructure, there is the ability to expand the amount of information used in the statistical analyses.

Access to People as Resources :

  The Systems Integration Committee (SIC) coordinates technology development across the CVRG project areas. Members may include CVRG Project leaders or their designates, WG chairs, representatives from the DBPs and CTPs, and the CVRG Program Manager. The SIC plays a major role in coordinating all activities of the CVRG. The SIC:

* meets regularly to receive and review status reports and technology development proposals from each WG chair
* suggests action items for each WG, and makes decisions on initiation of new technology development tasks
* assures that project activities are coordinated across the WGs
* reports on technology development activities to the Executive Committee
* creates and oversees new CVRG WGs
* coordinates technology development with BIRN, caBIG, CTSA, and other grid technology development projects
* plans and oversees bi-annual CVRG meetings.

The SIC is chaired by the CVRG Program Manager Stephen Granite. Current members are Yaorong Ge (Wake Forest), Tahsin Kurc (Emory), Andrew Post (Emory), Ravi Maduri (Argonne), Joseph Ames (USC), Rakesh Nagarajan (Washington University).

The CVRG is managed by the Executive Committee (EC). The EC is chaired by the CVRG PI (RL Winslow). EC members may include the CVRG project leaders, PIs of each DBP and CTP or there designates, and representative(s) of the NHLBI. Membership will evolve as new projects are added. The charge of the EC is to:

* define governance policies regarding data sharing and release
* assure compliance with HIPAA and IRBs
* monitor issues of ethics and professional conduct, authorship, publications, intellectual property and licensing
* oversee the addition of new DBPs and CTPs.
* develop plans for supporting the activities of the CVRG by means of federal and public funding during the course of this work and beyond the end of the grant period.

They also have an external advisory committee and an executive committee.

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

United States Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:

Organizations with Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
Emory University
   Center for Comprehensive Informatics (Emory University)
1 PI, 1 "Investigator"
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
   Computation Institute
Johns Hopkins University
   Institute for Computational Medicine (Johns Hopkins) (ICM)
4 PIs, 3 "Investigators", 1 Postdoc, 4 staff members
Wake Forest Baptist Health
   Wake Forest School of Medicine Image Lab

Notes on Participants/Organizations:
CVRG has formed Collaborating Technology Projects (CTPs) focused on joint, mutually beneficial technology development with the CVRG team. There are currently six CTPs--collborations with: BIRN, caBIG/caGrid, caGrid XML Data Service, Cardiac Atlas Project,
Data Ontologies for Integrating Cardiovascular Epidemiological Studies, Grid of Grids, and National Center for Biomedical Ontologies Driving Biomedical Project.

The software development phase of projects such as the CVRG must be closely linked with specific, underlying driving biomedical projects (DBPs) to assure that resource development is driven by real-world needs prior to software release to the general community. There are currently eight DBPs for the CVRG. These DBPs provide a rich set of use cases that drive CVRG technology development. The tools are fed back to the DBPs and an iterative process of technology development, feedback, and refinement is established. The DBPs are: CARDIA Study, D. W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center, Emory-Morehouse Partnership (EMP) to reduce CV disparities, FEHGAS Study, The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Consortium, Jackson Heart Study, Multi-Ethnic Study of Artherosclerosis (MESA), Prose-ICD Study, and The Atlanta Cardiomyopathy Consortium (TACC).


Communications Technology Used :


Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

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