Biomedical Imaging Research Services Section

Skip to Main Content

Staff Listing

Chief: Matthew McAuliffe, Ph.D.
HHS logo - link to BIRSS website (Click the image above to access the BIRSS website)

The Biomedical Imaging Research Services Section (BIRSS) is responsible for the continued development of a sophisticated image processing and visualization application (MIPAV) that is comprehensive, extensible, and platform-independent. This application provides the foundation and tools needed to assist NIH intramural researchers with the processing of hypothesis-driven research data. Development includes the implementation of known solutions, algorithms, or methods to quickly and efficiently meet the needs of our collaborators. However, to meet unique requirements, the group develops novel methods and algorithms.

In collaboration with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), BIRSS also develops two informatics systems in support of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) research and the Parkinson's Disease Biomarker Program (PDBP). Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major medical problem for both military and civilian populations. There are many critical gaps in our knowledge regarding how to diagnose and treat people who sustain a TBI. High priority gaps include the need for an objective diagnosis for mild TBI, biomarkers to track recovery or progression of injury, a biologically-based classification system, and comparative effectiveness research to determine which treatments are effective and for whom. To address these gaps, as well as other important questions on how to improve outcomes, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), is building a secure, centralized informatics system (database) for traumatic brain injury research. It will serve as a central repository for new data, link to current databases and allow valid comparison of results across studies – The Federal Interagency Traumatic Brain Injury Research (FITBIR) informatics system.

The goal of the PDBP is to support new and existing research and resource development promoting biomarker discovery for Parkinson's Disease. Although our understanding of the biology and genetics associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) is advancing rapidly, gaps remain between promising laboratory discoveries and the realization of treatments that will cure or slow progression of PD. To address the needs of the PD community, NINDS has established the PDBP program focused on promoting the discovery of biomarker candidates for early detection and measurement of disease progression. The PDBP will coordinate the efforts of multiple stakeholders through a common data management resource and web portal.

The PDBP effort uses the same core big data technologies or biomedical research informatics and computing system (BRICS) that where developed for FITBIR.