The primary responsibility of the NIH Associate Director for Data Science (ADDS) is to set a strategic vision for and lead trans-NIH data science activities and funding initiatives, drawing strength from across the National Institutes of Health. Trans-NIH extramural funding initiatives in data science fall under the umbrella of the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, a joint collaboration between the NIH Common Fund and each of the 27 Institutes and Centers. Detailed information about BD2K initiatives, funded grants, and organizational structure can be found on the BD2K website. The ADDS serves as a focal point for NIH data science activities and is eager to engage with partners both within NIH and in academia, industry, nonprofit organizations, or other government agencies.
The position of the NIH Associate Director for Data Science was created in response to a recommendation of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD), given in the June 2012 report from the Data and Informatics Working Group. In March 2014, Dr. Philip Bourne became the first NIH Associate Director for Data Science. Prior to coming to NIH, he was Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Industry Alliances at the University of California San Diego. On January 6, 2017, National Library of Medicine Director Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, assumed the additional role of NIH Interim Associate Director for Data Science (iADDS).
2017 saw the transition of trans-NIH science initiatives to NLM, with the operational oversight of the BD2K initiative being housed within the Common Fund programs in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives. This change builds on the recommendations by the NLM Working Group Report to the NIH Director and makes concrete steps toward the vision of NLM’s future proclaimed in the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director’s report—that the National Library of Medicine become the “epicenter of data science for the NIH.”