To the caBIG Community,
I am writing to let you know that, over the next few months, the vision, goals, and activities of the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will be integrated into the Institute's new National Cancer Informatics Program (NCIP). When this process is complete, caBIG as a separate program will terminate. We will keep you fully informed of our progress as we make the transition, via weekly updates to this mailing list: CABIG_ANNOUNCE@list.nih.gov.
Speaking for my colleagues at the NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT), I would like to thank you all for your brilliance, dedication, and hard work over the last eight years. Together, we changed the biomedical informatics paradigm and demonstrated that it is possible to create a national federation of interoperable biomedical information systems. While there is still much to do, caBIG helped put the cancer research community on the path to a truly modern informatics environment.
caBIG may also have changed another, even more difficult paradigm: it is a government program that is being retired at a time when its current model has reached the end of its useful life. This does not mean that the NCI is abandoning biomedical informatics, the successful elements of caBIG, or the community that has always been caBIG's greatest strength. On the contrary, NCI's need for innovation in informatics has never been greater, and we intend to continue to support successful elements of the caBIG program (including the use of the caBIG trademark for compatible systems and support service providers) under the aegis of NCIP. At the end of the day, NCIP will embrace both the achievements (especially the caBIG community) and the experience of caBIG, and its establishment will be much more than a "rebranding."
We will be reorganizing our biomedical informatics programs based on NCI's vision for informatics in the next decade and the articulated needs of the community. For that reason, I encourage you all to participate in the NCIP, starting with the upcoming biomedical informatics meeting and the working groups that will arise from that meeting. Only by continuing to join together and move forward as a community can we achieve our common goal of developing more effective means to understand, prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat the spectrum of diseases we know as cancer. As the transition moves forward, please feel free to contact me or other CBIIT staff members with any questions.
George A. Komatsoulis, Ph.D.
Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT)
National Cancer Institute