Kim Baggett to assume broad operational responsibilities at nonprofit
Seattle [April 19, 2022]: Biomedical research nonprofit Sage Bionetworks has appointed Kim Baggett, MPA as Chief Operations Officer. Baggett will lead the organization’s operations and business functions to deliver on its mission to help research communities develop reliable outcomes to advance our understanding of human health.
Kim Baggett joins Sage Bionetworks after 15 years at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, where she was most recently Vice President, Center Business Operations. During her tenure, Baggett was a key leader in setting and operationalizing the strategic direction for research and was responsible for the business operations for all the research centers spanning basic, translational, clinical and health outcomes. In her new role as COO at Sage, Baggett will serve as a leadership partner and subject matter expert on operations strategy and organizational issues.
“Kim is a strong addition to our leadership team. Her exceptional track record in business operations at a nonprofit scientific research institute will bring a knowledge of effective approaches to Sage. Her robust network among the local community of research operations and her experience establishing partnerships across institutes, and with for-profit organizations, further enhances our partnership approach,” said Lara Mangravite, Sage Bionetworks’ President.
“I have long admired the important work that Sage Bionetworks does to break down silos and facilitate the integration of research into medical decision-making. I am honored and enthusiastic to play a role in accelerating the adoption of Sage’s suite of tools and resources that will contribute to increased scientific collaboration and the open sharing of ideas and outcomes,” said Baggett.
A Washington state native, Baggett received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Seattle University, her Bachelor’s Degree from University of Washington, and is a 2020 graduate of Leadership Tomorrow.
About Sage Bionetworks
Sage Bionetworks (sagebionetworks.org) is a nonprofit health research organization based in Seattle, Washington. Sage advances a collaborative approach to research – bridging many disciplines and types of organizations – to speed the translation of science to medicine. Sage connects and convenes scientists to develop reliable outcomes from the big data, complex algorithms, and personalized health monitoring that have revolutionized the life sciences. Sage promotes responsible data stewardship, objective evaluation of methods across researchers, and the empowerment of participants to be active partners in research.
Seattle, February 22, 2022: Biomedical research nonprofit Sage Bionetworks has added Brian O’Connor as Chief Data Officer, a new position within the organization focused on guiding Sage’s data strategy that supports more than 50 cross-institutional scientific research programs.
Dr. O’Connor comes from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he served as a Principal Investigator in the Data Sciences Platform. He previously held positions at the UCSC (University of California at Santa Clara) Genomics Institute, including as Director of the Computational Genomics Platform. Throughout his career, Dr. O’Connor has made significant strategic contributions across many biomedical data sharing initiatives including the Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) program, the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) initiative, BioData Catalyst, CRDC, and AnVIL.
“We are thrilled to welcome Brian to Sage. His wealth of experience with data-enabling infrastructure across the biomedical research community makes him a great fit to expand the data strategy we need to accelerate the translation of science to medicine. He’s an extremely qualified researcher and leader, and I’m confident in his ability to guide Sage’s data program for the coming decade,” said Lara Mangravite, Sage Bionetworks’ President.
As Chief Data Officer, Dr. O’Connor will assume leadership of a new team at Sage specifically focused on data and data tooling. This centralized team will be responsible for developing a cohesive data strategy to guide priorities for organization-level tooling and infrastructure, including in partnership with the Sage Data Platform. They will also be responsible for implementing these data services across Sage’s research programs — including those focusing on cancer, neurodegenerative disease, clinical informatics, digital health, and other biomedical domains.
“I am excited to leverage my experience in data infrastructure to further Sage’s cross-disciplinary work in health research,” said Dr. O’Connor. “Collaborative data practices are essential in today’s research, and I look forward to working with an innovative team that is leading the field in applying and developing these practices.” Dr. O’Connor has extensive experience implementing standards and interoperable systems across the biomedical data ecosystem, including through the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) and as an active member of the NIH’s Cloud Platform Interoperability Effort. He will leverage these experiences to facilitate interoperability of the Sage Data Platform with the larger biomedical research ecosystems through the use of key community standards.
Dr. O’Connor will oversee data infrastructure development for multiple large-scale projects with at least five National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes, facilitating data sharing and collaboration among research communities investigating cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Down syndrome, and other disease application areas. Sage’s interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers works together to provide researchers access to tools and scientific approaches to share data, benchmark analytical methods, and explore collective insights, all with a commitment to ethical governance and user-centered design.
About Sage Bionetworks
Sage Bionetworks (sagebionetworks.org) is a non-profit health research organization based in Seattle, Washington. Sage uses open practices that increase the reliability of scientific claims to speed the translation of science to medicine. Through its work, Sage supports responsible data sharing, objective evaluation of methods and results across researchers, and the empowerment of participants to be active partners in research.
The field of mHealth and wearables research is constantly evolving. How can IRBs keep up? In the latest edition of Internal Review Board Management and Function, Sage Bionetworks’ Meg Doerr and Sara Meeder, of Maimonides Medical Center, share their expertise in a new chapter called “mHealth, Mobile Technologies, and Apps.” Highlights in the chapter include:
Introduction and background to support reviewers new to the field of mHealth research
Guidance for reviewers evaluating mHealth studies on topics such as reliability of data, data breach procedures, third-party access and use of data, and considerations for enrollment of vulnerable populations.
Accessible discussion of the importance and impact of technical documentation, including privacy policies and terms of service, on regulatory compliance.
Sage Bionetworks leads international feasibility study to identify core design components to build the Global Mental Health Databank with youth participants
SEATTLE, Nov. 18, 2020 – Young people around the world commonly experience anxiety and depression, but it can be hard to identify how each person can best manage their own mental health. The Global Mental Health Databank, a feasibility study officially launching today, hopes to change that by enabling youth from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and India to work directly with mental health researchers to better understand how young people can manage their mental health.
Sage Bionetworks is leading an international group of researchers from Oxford University, University of Cambridge, University of Washington, Walter Sisulu University, Higher Health, and the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy at the Indian Law Society in this effort to shift how a mental health databank could be developed and structured. This project is funded by the mental health area team at the Wellcome Trust as key infrastructure necessary to enable their work to identify the next generation of treatments and approaches to prevent, intervene, manage and stop relapse of anxiety and depression in young people.
This project will work directly with youth and researchers to build the blueprint for a global mental health program that directly collects data and provides insights to youth around the world. We will test how youth wish to interact with and use this system to advance understanding of mental health.
“We are excited to create a system that supports both youth and researchers in understanding mental health management strategies,” said Dr. Lara Mangravite, president of Sage Bionetworks. “We think it’s essential to start by developing a system that empowers young people to directly guide how their data is collected, shared and used.”
Partnering with Youth
Relying on mobile phones and other connected technologies, the study will collect data from youth participants about their lived experience with mental health self-management. Collecting such data, which requires a strong partnership between youth and researchers, will provide insight about how a person’s daily activities and surroundings affect their health and the success of their health-management strategies. For example, can changes in sleep habits, social interactions or financial security help mitigate anxiety?
“We look forward to rich learning as to how to balance the best ways to ensure those banking their data have maximal control and privacy, with the wish to allow diverse scientists to have ready access to data to advance understanding of the active ingredients that help address youth anxiety and depression globally,” said Professor Miranda Wolpert, MBE Head of the Mental Health Priority Area at Wellcome.
Leveraging existing technologies and expertise, Sage will also be testing the ability to operate a program of this nature at scale with the varied data privacy regulations of participating countries.
“India has the world’s largest population of adolescents and young people. Therefore, it is important that India is a part of such global initiatives to solve global problems affecting all of humanity, especially young people in low- and middle-income countries,” said Dr. Soumitra Pathare, Director, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, ILS, Pune, India. “We hope that Indian researchers will also find this project of value in helping them solve these mental health problems in the India context.”
“This work provides an extraordinary opportunity to engage culturally and contextually diverse groups of young people and researchers on critical questions for youth mental health. This is fundamental to strengthening the science of global mental health and ensuring that the solutions are informed by specific needs,” said Dr. Pamela Collins, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, professor of global health, and director of the UW Global Mental Health Program.
The team from the University of Washington will bring their deep experience in working with people coping with mental health challenges and how connected technologies can help assess mental health.
“Nearly every young person in the world has access to connected technologies and these technologies provide a window into their social, physical and emotional lives,” said Dr. Patricia Areán, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “By banking this data, we hope to provide the opportunity to discover which strategies do and do not help them manage their mental health.”
The project envisions the databank as a platform that connects participants and researchers interested in studying the effects of contextual determinants, experiences, behaviors, and interventions in a real-world setting. To be successful, this platform must be technically feasible, beneficial to both data contributors and researchers, and it must operate under parameters that promote data justice.
“Data analysis should be the bedrock on which policy and practice rest, and it is therefore essential that we as researchers engage in dialogue with young people about how their data could support population mental health and ensure that their concerns about privacy and confidentiality are enshrined in governance procedures,” said Dr. Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and Honorary Consultant at Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.
“While this is still at early stages, we hope that this work will ultimately help to practically change lives globally,” said Dr. Melvyn Freeman, of Higher Health. “I am personally hopeful, and quietly confident, that this databank will become the cog around which research into depression and anxiety in young people will turn in the future, and hence make a big difference to youth well-being.”
Sage Bionetworks: Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit biomedical research and technology development organization that was founded in Seattle in 2009. Our focus is to develop and apply open practices to data-driven research for the advancement of human health. Our interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers work together to provide researchers access to technology tools and scientific approaches to share data, benchmark methods, and explore collective insights, all backed by Sage’s gold-standard governance protocols and commitment to user-centered design. Sage is a 501c3 and is supported through a portfolio of competitive research grants, commercial partnerships, and philanthropic contributions.
Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy, ILS, Pune, India: The Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy aims to protect and promote the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities using a rights-based approach to mental health through law and policy reform; implementation research; community capacity building; strategic litigation & strengthening public mental health systems, peer support; youth mental health and training & education. CMHLP works with different stakeholders including service users, mental health professionals, policymakers, civil society organisations and researchers both nationally and internationally with a specific focus on vulnerable and marginalised populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
About the University of Cambridge: The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. To date, 110 affiliates of the University have won the Nobel Prize. Founded in 1209, the University comprises 31 autonomous Colleges and 150 departments, faculties and institutions. Cambridge is a global university. Its 19,000 student body includes 3,700 international students from 120 countries. Cambridge researchers collaborate with colleagues worldwide, and the University has established larger-scale partnerships in Asia, Africa and America. The University sits at the heart of the ‘Cambridge cluster’, which employs more than 61,000 people and has in excess of £15 billion in turnover generated annually by the 5,000 knowledge-intensive firms in and around the city. The city publishes 316 patents per 100,000 residents. www.cam.ac.uk
UW Medicine in Seattle: UW Medicine is one of the top-rated academic medical systems in the world. With a mission to improve the health of the public, UW Medicine educates the next generation of physicians and scientists, leads one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive biomedical research programs, and provides outstanding care to patients from across the globe. The UW School of Medicine is second in the nation in federal research grants and contracts with $930.4 million in total revenue (fiscal year 2019) according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Oxford University: Oxford University has been placed number 1 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the third year running, and at the heart of this success is our ground-breaking research and innovation. Oxford is world-famous for research excellence and home to some of the most talented people from across the globe. Our work helps the lives of millions, solving real-world problems through a huge network of partnerships and collaborations. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of our research sparks imaginative and inventive insights and solutions. Through its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked first in the UK for university spinouts, having created more than 170 new companies since 1988. Over a third of these companies have been created in the past three years.
HIGHER HEALTH: HIGHER HEALTH is an implementing agency of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). HIGHER HEALTH is dedicated to promoting the health and wellbeing of nearly two million students in the post-school education system. Our structures, implementing programmes, campaigns and a wide spectrum of health, wellness and psychosocial services cover over 420 campus sites, and rural, informal and urban settings. Most of the students we work with are in the 15-24 year age group and most come from impoverished backgrounds.
Walter Sisulu University: Walter Sisulu University (WSU) is a university of technology and science in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, South Africa. This institution was founded in 2005 and offers quality education to over 24,000 students across its four campuses.
Congratulations to Brian Bot, principal scientist at Sage Bionetworks, on winning the 2020 General Symbiosis Award for sustained efforts in data sharing and for his contributions to the mPower Public Researcher Portal, a Parkinson’s disease data resource, and related digital health data sharing efforts. The award is a part of the 3rd Annual Research Symbiont Awards for excellence in data sharing and was announced during the January 2020 Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing.
“This is really a recognition of the culture and support of Sage Bionetworks and my current and former colleagues,” said Bot. “Thanks to Stephen Friend and Andrew Trister for their early leadership on mPower; John Wilbanks, Christine Suver, and Meg Doerr for developing the informed consent procedures and qualified researcher program for the distribution of these data; the Bridge and Synapse engineering teams; and especially Lara Mangravite and Larsson Omberg for carrying the mPower mantle forward. It truly does take a village. And sometimes that village is a non-profit housed in a nondescript building in Belltown.”
“The Research Symbiont Awards are intended to move the needle toward more and better sharing of research data in a world in which sharing is not always recognized,” said Dr. J. Brian Byrd, chair of the Symbiont Selection Committee and principal investigator at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. “While the deliberations of the awards committee are confidential, I can share my personal thoughts: Brian Bot has made sustained and important contributions to sharing research data, and he has been at the forefront of making sure that sharing is ethical at the same time it is effective. Kudos to Brian and the team at Sage Bionetworks!”
This month marks the tenth anniversary of Sage Bionetworks. Trumpets, please! Sage focuses on developing community-based knowledge systems of people, data, and tools to identify reliable scientific outcomes poised for translation. These trusted networks provide a diversity of experiences and opinions, so that research is evaluated from many angles and translational solutions are widely useful. They also verify our results, so we don’t fall into the trap of the self-assessment bias. Building on these experiences, we are celebrating our anniversary in the only way we know how – by bringing our community together on July 25 for the 10th Anniversary Sage Assembly.
The Assemblies have been annual events that we’ve hosted and that are designed to engage diverse participants to learn from and connect with one another. To pique our collective curiosity, we examine concepts in adjacent spaces – where few of the participants are experts and all are invited to explore together. This is intentional. As scientists, we are all trained to be laser-focused at meetings – promoting a singular idea that stands as the organizing principle behind our bodies of work (Make data open! Practice reproducible research! Justify your claims!). This approach may promote our work, but it dampens the opportunities for unstructured and unexpected interactions, and creates barriers to engaging people who don’t have formal scientific training. With the Assemblies, we loosened up the formula so we could all get out of our heads a bit. In the past, we have focused on art, education, and climate. We’ve considered the role of the individual in healthcare, research, and algorithms.
You know that feeling of introspection that comes with big birthday milestones? It turns out that the same happens with the maturing of an organization. This anniversary has us reflecting on our past accomplishments, acknowledging our failures, and planning for the future. From that frame of mind, we are bringing this year’s Assembly close to home with the theme: “Open Science and the Role of Common Evidence.”
People are so important to science. We see the need for a diversity of input to turn early insights into stable evidence that can support advancements in medicine. There is an urgent need for more rapid mechanisms to foster this transition. Open approaches can help here – and they can also lead to a host of other issues. This year, the Assembly will acknowledge and evaluate existing open systems – and look to the future that we want to be creating.
Recognizing that our community is large and distributed, we will be livestreaming the Assembly presentations starting at 9 a.m. PST on July 25. The agenda is available at sageassembly.org. The livestream will be available on this channel. We hope to see you there!
Sage Bionetworks is proud to announce its new scientific advisory board. The members bring diverse backgrounds to the SAB and will provide the perspective Sage needs to continue to do impactful work. SAB members initially will serve two-year terms. Members include:
Ann Barker, Director of Complex Adaptive Systems Networks, ASU
Paul Boutros, Director of Cancer Data Science, UCLA
Laura Germine, Technical Director McLean Institute for Technology in Psychiatry
Larry Hunter, Professor of Comp Bio and Pharmacology, U Colorado
Jeff Kaye, Director of Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center, OHSU
Amanda Tan, Cloud Technology Lead, eScience Institute, UW
Jennifer Wagner, Associate Director of Bioethics, Geisinger Health
Joon-Ho Yu, Research Associate Professor of Genetic Medicine, UW
New Directors Bring Experience From NIH, Biden Cancer Initiative, and University of Washington
Sage Bionetworks announces the appointments of three new directors to our board: Kathy L. Hudson, PhD, a strategic advisor and former deputy director for science, outreach, and policy at the NIH; Patricia Areán, PhD, of the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; and Cecilia Arradaza, senior director of communications at the Biden Cancer Initiative.
“Cecilia, Pat, and Kathy represent a set of energetic, forward-thinking individuals who have a long-standing interest in open science and expertise in several areas of direct importance to our organization,” said Lara Mangravite, president of Sage Bionetworks. “Sage has grown in size and in the breadth of work we do. We wanted our board to reflect that growth.”
New board members:
Kathy L. Hudson, PhD, is a strategic advisor to nonprofits, biotech, and technology companies. She was founding CEO of the People-Centered Research Foundation, a nonprofit that leads PCORnet, a large national clinical research network. She stepped down in February 2019 after leading the transition into a new and sustainable phase. Dr. Hudson is the former Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy at the NIH. She led policy, legislation, communications, and outreach efforts, and served as senior advisor to the NIH director. She created major new strategic and scientific initiatives, including the BRAIN Initiative and the All of Us research program. She was a key force in modernizing the regulations governing human subjects research. Hudson holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley, an MS in microbiology from the University of Chicago, and a BA in biology from Carleton College.
Patricia Areán, PhD is a professor in the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research focuses on the recognition and treatment of mental disorders in older adults and minority populations, particularly in recognition and treatment of depression that is identified in non-mental health settings. She is currently director of the CREATIV Lab at the University of Washington. Dr. Areán has published several articles on the recognition and treatment of late life depression and anxiety, as well as methods for recruiting and retaining older, minority elderly into longitudinal research. She was a psychotherapy expert for the IMPACT study, a multi-site trial of stepped care for depression in older primary care patients. She is also the director of an NIMH ALACRITY Research Center.
Cecilia Arradaza is a communications strategist and is the founder of C.A. Collaborative. For more than 20 years, Arradaza has worked to develop, design and deliver communications strategies that provoke discourse, engage broad audiences, and inspire action. She works on a portfolio of thought leadership and public engagement projects. She currently serves as the senior director of communications at the Biden Cancer Initiative, and as an advisor to a number of other organizations. Previously, Arradaza held leadership roles at global advisory firm Brunswick Group; the Milken Institute and its centers, FasterCures and the Center for Financial Markets; and public affairs firms Chandler Chicco Agency, Hyde Park Communications, and Powell Tate. She is on the board of Bright Focus Foundation, Sage Bionetworks, and WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s. She graduated from George Washington University’s Mount Vernon Women’s College.
The PsychENCODE consortium is a NIMH-funded set of grants across 15 institutions that focus on generating genomic and epigenetic data from postmortem brain tissue of individuals diagnosed with neuropsychiatric disorders, developing brains, and cellular model systems. Consortia members share data and insights with each other and the greater research community. Sage Bionetworks, a nonprofit biomedical research and technology development organization founded in Seattle in 2009, functions as the data coordination center for the consortium, using its Synapse platform to share and release data to qualified investigators in the research community.
Synapse tracks collaborative analysis across the PsychENCODE distributed teams, allowing each team to work on the same set of files and to broadcast their research findings in a transparent, reproducible manner. Synapse’s human data governance controls allow the distribution of sensitive human data directly to the broader research community. The PsychENCODE DCC at Sage Bionetworks is responsible for coordinating the upload of data to Synapse from each research project according to grant milestones, and for making the data available according to the Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) principle.
Data re-use can generate new insights that in turn lead to vital health benefits. To stimulate and celebrate the innovative re-use of data, the Wellcome Trust has announced the launch of the Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes. With the support of Sage Bionetworks and its Synapse platform, the Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes will present two awards, each based on a topic of strategic importance to Wellcome: AMR surveillance and malaria.
The challenges create incentives for re-use and help form a community around the data.
“We are excited to partner with the Wellcome Trust to demonstrate how the re-use of public datasets can lead to better scientific insights,” said Dr. Larsson Omberg, Vice President for Systems Biology at Sage Bionetworks. “In addition to judging the reproducibility of the methods, we are encouraging people to work together by awarding extra points for new collaborations.”
Call for Entries
Wellcome is fully committed to ensuring that research outputs are made available to accelerate health benefits. This means that the researchers we support must maximize the availability of their data and other outputs with as few restrictions as possible.
Making data available in a timely and responsible way ensures other researchers can verify it, build on it, and use it to advance knowledge and make health improvements. But we don’t want to encourage data sharing for its own sake – we want the data that is shared by our researchers to be re-used by others to generate new insights and tools.
Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes
Entries have to generate a new insight, tool or health application from data available in an open data resource of Wellcome’s choosing.
There are two prizes, each based on a topic of strategic importance to Wellcome: AMR surveillance and malaria. The winner of each prize will get £15,000 (approx. $19,000 USD). Two runners-up will get £5,000 (approx. $6,400 USD).
About Wellcome Trust: Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations, and spark debate. We remain true to the vision and values of our founder, Sir Henry Wellcome, a medical entrepreneur, collector and philanthropist. Our work today reflects the amazing breadth of Henry’s interests, and his belief that science and research expand knowledge by testing and investigating ideas.
About Sage Bionetworks: Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit research organization that believes that open practices can help accelerate biomedical research. Founded in 2009, our interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers work together to provide researchers access to technology tools and scientific approaches to share data, benchmark methods, and explore collective insights, all backed by Sage’s gold-standard governance protocols and commitment to user-centered design. Located in Seattle, Sage is supported through a portfolio of competitive research grants, commercial partnerships, and philanthropic contributions. Learn more at www.sagebionetworks.org.