Project Overview

The Early Detection Research Network is an effort funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute tasked with the identification and validation of biomarkers (biological indicators) for early detection of cancer. The research is conducted by a collection of roughly forty cooperating institutions geographically distributed across the U.S., each taking pursuing independent but complementary studies. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has acted as the Informatics Center for the network since 2001, and has been charged with supporting the diverse data-sharing needs of the distributed research network.

How I Contributed

My first role on the project was to develop a relational database schema and corresponding web application to facilitate data collection by EDRN curation experts. The user interface had to accommodate the EDRN’s hierarchical data model and allow curators to enter data at the correct “level.” Time saving features such as automatically pulling in relevant data from the NIH’s PubMed medical publication database and convenience features like AJAX-based auto-completion contributed to rapid adoption and a reduction in annotation errors.