Cyberinfrastructure for public health

Noshir Contractor*, Bradford W. Hesse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Peter Schad will begin the symposium with a description of the vision and architecture underlying the National Cancer Institute's cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid, or caBIG™. The caBIG architecture is designed to bring the terabytes and petabytes of data being produced in cancer research onto a common, interoperable platform to enhance discovery, development, and delivery in the national program's war on cancer. Stephen Marcus will describe how the NCI is exploring the use of cyberinfrastructure to connect data from relevant cancer surveillance systems into a seamless thread of support for public health researchers, policy makers, and public health administrators. Dr. Marcus will explain how the NCI has been making data from its nationally representative Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) available to communication researchers through an online collaboratory, and he will describe plans to link national data systems on tobacco use to improve the effectiveness and reach of public health surveillance. Shu-Hong Zhu will offer an example of how large scale databases and metadata repositories can be used to enable research on data collected through a national consortium of publicly funded " Quitlines" for smokers. Because smoking-related cancers kill more Americans than any other cancer, increasing the reach and effectiveness of cessation resources must remain a public health priority. Creating a cyberinfrastructure to connect here-to-fore disparate data systems should elevate the precision of scientific analysis in the area of Quitline research from a local to a national level. Noshir Contractor, a current digital government grantee, will present a blueprint for connecting public health researchers through a distributed network of people, data, and resources in the area of public health surveillance and evaluation. Building on his work in social network analysis, Dr. Contractor will illustrate how members of a geographically distributed community of population scientists can use networked connections to shorten the time it takes to identify, and respond more efficiently and effectively to, public health perturbations. Patty Mabry will complete the symposium by offering a glimpse of efforts underway to connect the biomedical research efforts supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with the advanced computing initiatives sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Dr. Mabry, who works in the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, is working with NIH leaders to improve knowledge management and to shorten time-to-discovery through cyberinfrastructure in the fields of biomedicine and public health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACM International Conference Proceeding Series - Proceedings of the 7th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, Dg.o 2006
Number of pages2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Event7th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, Dg.o 2006 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: May 21 2006May 24 2006


Other7th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, Dg.o 2006
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Behavioral research
  • Interoperable systems
  • Knowledge management
  • Networks
  • Public health
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction

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