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A sustainable infrastructure for translational medical research

Image: U.S. Navy (CC License)

Currently, less than 50% of medications prescribed to patients prove effective – when it comes to medical treatment, we all have our individual characteristics, needs, and preferences. What if we could provide patients with the right drug at the right dose at the right time? Can we make excellent health care for each patient possible?

The Translational Research IT (TraIT) project aims to develop diagnostics and treatments targeted at the individual patient. Personalized health care will range from helping people live a more healthy life and needing less care, to making hospitals more efficient and avoid doctors from making mistakes.

While a lot of knowledge to make personalized health care a reality is already available, the lack of an efficient informatics infrastructure remains a huge obstacle. All medical research projects share the same design; they look at why specific treatments are effective with some people and not with others. But translating these scientific discoveries into practical healthcare solutions remains a challenge. The phenomenal size of the datasets produced by medical research requires an informatics infrastructure that allows for seamless integration and exchange of large amounts of medical data to accelerate this translation process.

Launched in October 2011, TraIT addresses these informatics challenges. The project aims to organize, deploy, and manage a nationwide IT infrastructure for data and workflow management targeted specifically at the needs of translational projects. A shared IT infrastructure enables secure and sustainable access to research results and appropriate software tools to collect, manage, integrate and analyze these results. Medical researchers within multi-site projects should be able to share and disseminate data and analyses from these domains in the TraIT translational research space. Professional training and support are available to enable medical researchers to use the software tools and work with the data efficiently.

The project aims to adopt and adapt existing point solutions rather than embarking on major software development projects. Professional training & support are available to enable medical researchers to use the software tools and work with the data efficiently.

The TraIT project is an initiative from CTMM (Center for Translational Molecular Medicine). Since its inception in October 2011 the TraIT project has grown from 11 partners to currently 26 participating organizations including most Dutch University Medical Centers, charities such as the Dutch Cancer and Heart Foundations, and a variety of private partners.

Participating organisations

Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location VU
Erasmus University Medical Center
Maastricht University Medical Center+
Netherlands eScience Center
Life Sciences
Life Sciences
Radboud University Medical Center
University Medical Center Utrecht




Rita Azevedo
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Rob Hooft
eScience Coordinator
Netherlands eScience Center
Ruud Ross
eScience Research Engineer
Netherlands eScience Center
Jan-Willem Boiten

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