A new, improved version of SFARI Base, the portal where researchers can request access to SFARI genomic and phenotypic data and biospecimens, and submit recruitment requests for new research studies has launched.
Genomic and phenotypic data are currently available from the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), Simons Variation in Individuals Project (Simons VIP), Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge (SPARK) and the Autism Inpatient Collection (AIC). Biospecimens, such as DNA samples, lymphoblastoid cell lines, plasma, fibroblasts and induced pluripotent stem cells are currently available from the SSC and Simons VIP. Researchers can also submit applications in SFARI Base to participate in research match, a SFARI initiative that helps researchers recruit participants from the SSC or SPARK for their studies.
The new portal has an intuitive, user-friendly interface that aims to make the request process easier and faster. Researchers will now be able to browse all available resources and make multiple selections at once, while a status bar helps track each step of the submission process. All current and pending requests will be listed on a dashboard for immediate view.
In addition to facilitating the request process for investigators, the new version of SFARI Base has automated many steps of the internal review process, thus making it more convenient, and faster, for SFARI staff to consider each request. Researchers will be provided with an estimated date by which a decision on their application should be made and will be able to log in to check the status of their requests.
“The SFARI Base development team at the foundation has worked hard in collaboration with SFARI to develop this new web platform and ordering system. With so much new data and biospecimens being deposited in SFARI Base — particularly as a result of SPARK — we needed to streamline the process and improve researchers’ ability to access these valuable resources,” says John Acampado, project manager of clinical data at SFARI.