The Center for Causal Discovery is working together with other BD2K Centers to promote novel methods to analyze Big Data and to explore interoperability with tools and software developed by other Centers.

Collaboration with Harvard Medical School

PIC-SURE – A Proof-of-principle Federated Data Ecosystem for Big Biomedical Data Storage and Analysis in the Cloud:


We are currently developing a system that shares data and computational resources in a cloud environment (or other externally hosted system). With these services integrated, researchers will have the data framework through which to better understand the causes of and gain insight into possible treatments for various diseases and conditions. We will focus on enabling authenticated access to secure data and analysis modules across institutional boundaries, a prerequisite to productive collaborations among institutions that host large biomedical data repositories and computational infrastructures. The PIC-SURE team is developing an Application-Programming Interface (API) that will allow the CCD team to access the Autism Simons Simplex Collection (SCC) dataset through simple REpresentational State Transfer (RESTful) calls to obtain data for causal analysis. The proof-of-principle federated data ecosystem that will be developed can serve as a model for how other institutions share biomedical data and analytic services in a secure and scalable manner in a cloud environment.

Scientific Catalyst Program

The center for Causal discovery has formed a circle of diverse partnerships with clinical and translational researchers from a wide range of disciplines in various BD2K centers.

Scientific Catalysts are hub persons for their respective sites who broadcasts our activities to other investigators so that they can utilize: 1. training opportunities, 2. software tools and 3. other useful artifacts coming out of our center.

Scientific Catalysts

Investigators who would like to serve as CCD Scientific Catalysts are encouraged to contact Dr. Mike Becich.

Background materials for scientific catalystsSC-ccd-kickoff

(Click image for presentation slides)