Principal Investigator:

Contributors: David J. Galas, Mark Bender Gerstein

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Extra-cellular RNAs (exRNAs) are emitted into the human bloodstream and other body fluids by different types of cells in the human body and may be uptaken by other cells. The exRNAs may also originate from edible plants and from microbes that inhabit the human body. The Extracellular RNA Communication Program (ERCP) will explore this newly discovered mechanism of communication in healthy individuals and in pathological conditions such as cancer. The Data Management Resource and Repository for the exRNA Atlas (DMRR) will integrate the efforts of the FRCP and serve as a community-wide resource for the development of the exRNA Atlas database. DMRR will consist of three components and an Administrative Core. The Data Coordination Component (DCC) will develop data and metadata standards, establish data flow into the exRNA Atlas database; develop tools for download, visualization and analysis of exRNA data; and integrate exRNA Atlas database with other relevant resources. The Scientific Outreach Component (SOC) will develop the exRNA Atlas Web Portal to disseminate and provide for visualization of the exRNA Atlas data; ensure accessibility of ERCP-generated resources; and initiate community engagement in exRNA biology using leading biological Wiki sites. In close coordination with the DCC, the SOC will engage the community through knowledge curation jamborees, scientific workshops and symposia. The Data Integration and Analysis Component (DIAC) will provide large-scale integrative and analytic support; evaluate tools and build pipelines to be hosted by DCC and used to populate the exRNA Atlas; build tools to be deployed and distributed by the DCC for use by other consortium participants and the wider scientific community for exRNA data; and lead consortium-wide advanced integrative analyses. Through these coordinated efforts of its DCC, SOC, and DIAC components, the DMRR will help organize the ERCP consortium and open opportunities for rapid progress in the nascent field of exRNA biology.

The DMRR Administrative Core shall include a DMRR administrator who will dedicate substantial effort to the administrative core activities and who will collaborate closely with the DMRR Director(s), NIH staff, and ERCP PD(s)/PI(s).  Anticipated critical activities of the DMRR Administrative Core include:

  • facilitating communication and interaction between DMRR DCC, DIAC, and SOC components.
  • facilitating communication across the ERCP consortium including setting up teleconferences/ steering committee/workgroup meetings and providing internet-based resources such as mailing lists, a wiki, file sharing, or social media tools to share data and enable discussions within the Consortium.
  • organizing and supporting an annual ERCP consortium-wide grantees meeting.  This meeting will have 50-100 attendees and take place in the Bethesda, MD area.  All attendees will support their own travel and lodging through their funded grants.
  • providing NIH staff with quantitative updates on data deposition, data quality, and data usage statistics upon request.
  • providing assurance of compliance with NIH policy requirements.