A new online resource allows researchers and students to find experts, collaborators and mentors at the University of Colorado Denver and its affiliates.
The search engine is called “Colorado Profiles” and is sponsored by the Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute. Colorado Profiles can be accessed on the CCTSI website by clicking the yellow button “Find a Researcher” in the top right of the page.
“It’s to try to help investigators identify folks who have specialized areas of interest, particularly in their areas of research,” said Michael Kahn, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and co-director of the CCTSI.
Kahn said the idea of creating a mechanism for researchers to find collaborating investigators has been a core objective of the national Clinical & Translational Science Awards. The University of Colorado Denver is among 60 medical research institutions nationwide that are members of the CTSA consortium.
Colorado Profiles is modeled after a communications tool developed by the Harvard University CTSA program, Kahn said. “We picked up the Harvard profile system and customized it and integrated it into our environment. We integrated the pieces specific to Colorado.”
In addition to the “search” feature, Colorado Profiles has a “research networking” button that allows users to view past and present research networking of our investigators. On the site, researchers can edit their profiles, listing up-to-date areas of study, awards, academic credentials and other biographical information.
Kahn said researchers tend to find collaborators by word-of-mouth, meeting at academic functions and through other informal networking channels. “This tool is trying to add another channel where I can find someone who is helpful to me and, on the flip side of the coin, I can advertise areas that are of interest to me” and network with potential collaborators.
The technology aggregates researcher data from numerous source systems, including those operated by human resources departments and publication data from PubMed.