Informatics Research Seminar: Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS)

April 21 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm


Speaker: James J. Cimino, MD
Presented from Duke University


The Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS) is a repository of clinical research data collected at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over the past half-century. Data sources include the hospital electtronic medical record system, hospital ancillary systems, archival systems and various systems scattered throughout the NIH’s 27 Institutes and Centers. Thye intent of BTRIS is to provide clinical investigators with comprehensive access to identifiable data on subjects in their active clinical trials, as well as to provide the wider research community with access to de-identified data to support reuse of these data. The presentation will cover the architectural, technical, and policy issues that have been addressed, provide a status report on the progress to date, and a discussion of the vision for future developments.



 James Cimino is the Chief of the Laboratory for Informatics Development at the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health. He is also a senior investigator at the National Library of Medicine. He is charged with the development of an institute-wide Biomedical Translational Research Information System (BTRIS).

Dr. Cimino received ScB degree in computers in the biomedical sciences from Brown University and an MD degree from New York Medical College, He completed residency training in medicine at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in New York and a research fellowship in medical informatics sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health. While there, he worked on the development of the diagnostic decision support system DXplain and the NLM’s Unified Medical Language System (UMLS).

In 1988, he joined the Center for Medical Informatics (now the Department of Biomedical Informatics) at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he conducted informatics research, built clinical information systems, taught informatics and medicine, and practiced general internal medicine as professor in the Department of Medicine and an attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital. While at Columbia, he published landmark work on controlled terminologies (including a widely adopted set of “desiderata”), the UMLS, the use of the Internet in health care, patient access to personal health records, studies of clinician information needs, and development of the “infobutton”. In 2008, he converted his Columbia appointment to adjunct professor in Biomedical Informatics and moved to the National Institutes of Health.

Cimino has been a member of the NLM Board of Scientific Counselors, co-chair of the HL-7 Vocabulary Technical Committee, and on the board of the American Medical Informatics Association. He is a fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics (where he is currently serving as President-Elect), the American College of Physicians, the American Clinical and Climatologic Association, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has received the Priscilla Mayden Award from the University of Utah, a President’s Award from the American Medical Informatics Association, the Medal of Honor from New York Medical College, and an Directors Award from the NIH Clinical Center.