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Electronic Prioritization of the NIH Intramural Database to Facilitate Efficient ‘Dual Use Research of Concern’ Review at the National Institutes of Health.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • A. Schwartz
  • D. M. Osorio Sanchez


Since 9/11, the issue of ‘Dual Use Research of Concern’ (DURC)—data generated from life sciences research that could be used for nefarious purposes—has been at the forefront of biomedical research and international security. At the National Institutes of Health (NIH), research summaries in the Intramural Database are individually reviewed annually to identify and address potential DURC. To enhance the efficiency of this manual process, a methodology to electronically prioritize research summaries according to their DURC potential was formulated. Results from the 2010-year and 2011-year showed that 80% of manually identified potential DURC research summaries were located within the top 35 of the electronically prioritized research summaries (n = 1125 and 1123, respectively). Using the newly developed methodology, the number of research summaries requiring manual review was significantly reduced, with a marked increase in the efficiency of the annual DURC review. This methodology could serve as a useful tool for Institutional Biosafety Committees and Biosafety Officers at small and large research entities to assure compliance with new federal DURC oversight policies.

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