Item of Interest: NICHD Data and Specimen Hub (DASH) Releases New Biospecimen Request Functionality

Function broadens access for secondary analyses

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
DASH Logo.

NICHD recently added a biospecimen request function to DASH, its centralized data-sharing resource for NICHD-funded studies. To date, DASH has only offered archiving and dissemination services for de-identified electronic datasets. Researchers can now request access to some biospecimens linked to datasets currently available in DASH.

“This is an exciting development,” said NICHD Director Diana Bianchi, M.D. “Data and biospecimen sharing is an integral part of being good stewards of taxpayer resources. We are closer to having a one-stop NICHD data shop that helps to maximize our investments in research and accelerate scientific advances.”

Biospecimens from eight studies on HIV/AIDS, preterm labor and birth, and pregnancy are available for request through DASH. NICHD is working to make additional studies and biospecimens accessible in the coming months.

DASH allows users to browse and view study data and, now, biospecimen information. Researchers can request specific data and/or access to biospecimens after registering for a free account. NICHD reviews each request to ensure that the proposed use is appropriate and is permitted by the institutions that submitted the data and/or biospecimens.

More than 17,300 users have visited DASH since its launch to access data on diverse populations from over 122 studies across 30 clinical research topics. In addition, 15 publications have resulted from reuse of DASH data.

“NICHD is totally committed to data and biospecimen sharing,” Dr. Bianchi noted. “Through DASH, we offer a user-friendly way for researchers to store, access, and request these important data and biospecimens.”

Visit NOT-HD-19-004 to learn more about the biospecimens available through DASH. For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions about DASH or email the DASH administrator at supportdash@mail.nih.gov.