NeuroImaging Tools and Resources Collaboratory (NITRC)

Main Area of Focus

NITRC is a free one-stop-shop for science researchers that need resources such as neuroimaging analysis software, publicly available data sets, or computing power.

Background

Many neuroimaging tools and databases are under-utilized because they are not easy to find, are not user-friendly, or are not compatible with end-user systems.  NITRC serves as a hub for finding a variety of neuroimaging tools and as an online community for getting technical information and assistance.

NITRC users can quickly search for, evaluate and download software tools used to support different imaging methods, including:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Positron emission tomography/single-photon emission computed tomography (PET/SPECT)
  • Electroencephalography/magnetoencephalography/electrocorticography (EEG/MEG/ECoG)
  • Optical imaging
     

The NITRC interface allows users to compare different tools side by side and identify which ones best meet their needs.  Users are encouraged to upload new tools and to rate tools regarding ease of use, functionality, quality of documentation and support, and overall satisfaction. In NITRC's community forums, researchers can seek expert advice and discuss trends and challenges in neuroimaging.

NITRC also offers an image repository, called NITRC-IR, for test datasets and image databases.  For example, NITRC is the public repository for data from the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project.  In this international project, researchers have explored the functional connections of the brain at rest, by using resting-state fMRI to collect data from 1200+ individuals at 33 sites.

In addition, NITRC offers a cloud-based computing environment, called NITRC-CE, to help researchers manage and analyze large volumes of brain imaging data. With NITRC-CE, an analysis that would typically require 24 hours can be done in less than 10 minutes, for a nominal fee.

NITRC was built, and continues to expand, under an award to TCG.  In 2009, the American Council on Technology honored NITRC with an Excellence.gov award, recognizing it as “Best Overall” among 61 nominated government websites and IT programs.  In 2015, the HHS IDEA Lab honored NITRC with an HHS Innovates award, recognizing it as the project to have given the “Biggest Bang for the Buck” for providing significant savings or return-on-investment for HHS resources expended.

Contacts

Andrew Weitz, Ph.D.
Program Director, NIBIB
301-451-7813

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