Neuroinformatics Platform

Director: Mallar Chakravarty, PhDneuroinformatics-long

 The Douglas Neuroinformatics Platform (DNP) is a computing system living within the Douglas Research Centre (DRC) and providing informatics resources to the research community. 

The mission of the DNP is to support the DRC community by providing technical support and expertise to enable measurement-based care and compute-focused research. Our goal is that all members of the DRC have easy and reliable access to state-of-the art experience, software, training, computation, and storage solutions. To this end, the DNP has a number of independent projects developing tools to support the DRC, and developing platform infrastructure. 


Computing Platform 

The core DNP service consists of a computing platform, composed of a redundant high-capacity storage system, along with a compute cluster and workstations, tied together with unified single-sign-on user and group management. Research groups who join their existing hardware into the DNP systems gain access to existing infrastructure and grow the pool of hardware available opportunistic cluster computing.Collecting and using large quantities of data and promoting technologically driven approaches to delivering care both require an adequate infrastructure backbone. Substantial investments in our nascent neuroinformatics platform are required to support growth in this field. This also entails managing workflows for data capture, working with hospital infrastructure, the use of cutting edge neuroinformatics and artificial intelligence tools in the service of mental health care. We are also proposing to develop collaborations with other institutions who have invested in database capabilities and partnerships with hardware/software companies to optimize the use of resources. 


Data Capture Platform 

The DNP is spearheading an open-source software development project to provide a modern, easy-to-use, and secure platform for the continuous capture and storage of research and clinical research data. The platform has facilities for capturing form-based, interactive testing-based and arbitrary binary (imaging etc.) data. The platform allows clinical researchers to track the trajectories of participating patients across Douglas clinics. By capturing data continuously, clinics can track aggregate measures to better characterize service users and access internal performance. The platform serves as the foundation for implementing measurement-based care at the Douglas Institute. 


Data Publishing Platform 

Research and clinical research data captured on the Data Capture Platform, as well as data previously collected by researchers for studies has a huge potential for secondary research usage. Open Data sharing is a fundamental goal of the DNP and D3SM. Clinical research data, especially data associated with mental health, has potentially sensitive components, so open data practices need to be moderated with ethical and data safety considerations. The DNP is developing a data publishing platform which will enable secure publication of potentially sensitive data to authorized users for data bank applications.Staff at the Neuroinformatics Platform 


Project Lead: Gabriel A. Devenyi, PhD 

Data Domain Expert: Sebastian GW. Urchs, PhD 

Developer: Josh Unrau, BSc