A new portal funded by the National Institute on Aging enables data sharing to advance research in Alzheimer’s disease. The AD Knowledge Portal officially launched in February 2020 with expanded data discovery tools. Developed by the nonprofit Sage Bionetworks, the AD Knowledge Portal is a secure resource that to date has been used by more than 1,300 qualified researchers to access biological data, analytical methodology, and disease models.
Previously known as the AMP-AD Knowledge Portal, the site initially was a repository for the NIA’s Accelerating Medicines Partnership – Alzheimer’s Disease (AMP-AD) Consortium. The site has recently expanded scope to include data from three additional NIA-funded consortia with complementary goals. The addition of a user-friendly web interface has made it easier for qualified researchers to access genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic data from more than 7,000 human donors contributed by more than 270 researchers across 31 institutions. Data is available to qualified users for general research purposes, with no publication embargo.
Human data comes from a variety of sources, including longitudinal clinical-pathologic studies like the Religious Orders Study and the Memory and Aging Project (collectively known as “ROSMAP”), the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, and the Adult Changes in Thought, and donor tissue from multiple brain banks such as Banner Health, the Mayo Clinic and Mount Sinai Brain Banks. Human data includes genomic variants, RNA and protein expression, epigenomics, and metabolite and lipid levels, among other data modalities. Experimental data is available from other species, such as mouse data from the Model Organism Development & Evaluation for Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (MODEL-AD) consortium established by the National Institute on Aging.
“Early and rapid data sharing advances the research community, providing transparency into scientific outcomes and allowing for independent data re-use of research from the AMP-AD Consortium,” said Lara Mangravite, president of Sage Bionetworks. “This expansion of the portal to incorporate data from other NIA-funded investigators allows the resource to support a much wider range of projects.”
Researchers are conducting independent analyses using network modeling and experimental validation of the available data. Since the portal was created in 2016, the number of unique data users has more than doubled, with the latest user count surpassing 350. The available data has been referenced in hundreds of publications, providing secondary analysis from data contributors and researchers alike.
“If you’re a geneticist or a systems biologist, whether you work in an academic setting or an industry setting, you have access to datasets that you can use to test new hypotheses, challenge pre-existing ideas, and replicate results,” said Suzana Petanceska, program director at the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging. “It’s important to know that there is no publication embargo on the secondary use of data once they’re made available, so researchers at large are free to use the datasets to conduct brand new discovery research.”
June 2020 Update: The AD Knowledge Portal has expanded its web interface to make it easier for researchers to access omic and other data relevant to their research. Users can now filter data through checkboxes and graphs, search for data based on keywords, and request access to datasets within the site. Check out the updates to view data from more than 7,000 human donors, and multiple experimental models, contributed by more than 270 researchers across 31 institutions. Data is available to qualified users for general research purposes, with no publication embargo.