SPARC Plug Winter 2024 Newsletter

Originally published 2024/02/15

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SPARC was at NANS Annual Meeting 2024

SPARC attended NANS with a large presence, from January 18-21, 2024 in Las Vegas. NANS links patients, physicians and health care professionals, scientists, engineers, and industry to advance neuromodulation, drive multidisciplinary collaboration, enhance therapy awareness and inspire innovation to transform patients’ lives.

SPARC investigator, Dominique Durand, received an award.

SPARC investigator, Dominique Durand, received an award.

SPARC investigator, Nikki Pelot, received an award.

SPARC investigator, Nikki Pelot, received an award.

Eric Linder (left) and Chris Rexroth (right) representing COSMIIC.

Eric Linder (left) and Chris Rexroth (right) representing COSMIIC.

We had lots of visitors to our stand in the exhibitor hall and there was particular interest from the physicians and health care professionals in the upcoming device work of both CARSS and COSMIIC.

SPARC Standard was endorsed by the INCF

SPARC Standard, the SDS was recently endorsed as an INCF Community standard. The SDS is the second SPARC standard endorsed for community use by INCF. The first being the MBF Bioscience Neuromorphological File Format, which was endorsed by INCF in 2022.

REVEAL Study Begins Enrolment of Participants

Led by University of Minnesota, REVEAL (Research Evaluating Vagal Excitation and Anatomical Links) is a multisite clinical study of the multi-organ effects of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). VNS is approved for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression and epilepsy, but there remains a lack of information on the multi-organ response to VNS. This past December, a major step was taken in that enrollment of participants in the main REVEAL project, the Common Study Protocol, began. The first enrollment was at the University of Minnesota, and other sites to be involved include Stanford University, Washington University in St. Louis, the Mayo Clinic, Sheppard Pratt, Medical University of South Carolina, and Monash University. Congrats to the REVEAL team for this exciting development!

Funding Opportunities

One opportunity is a Request for Information (RFI), Increasing the usability of Common Fund data resources by researchers from underrepresented groups. All responses must be submitted electronically on the submission website. The listing on the SPARC portal can be found here. Responses must be received by 5:00 pm (ET) on February 29, 2024.

NIH News

The CF is announcing an opportunity to establish the Training Center for the Common Fund Data Ecosystem

This center will be responsible for identifying and addressing the training opportunities and needs of the Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE) community. The Training Center (TC) team must effectively and productively collaborate with the CFDE investigators and the ecosystem's other components. The TC will promote the use and reuse of CF resources by creating and implementing activities addressing three target training-related functions: training and mentoring, coordination of CFDE training activities, and web infrastructure.

Applications are due April 1, 2024, by 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization.

An informational webinar about this announcement will be hosted on February 16, 2024: 2 PM – 3 PM ET.
More information can be found on the Common Fund Data Ecosystem website, or on the SPARC portal listing here. Email Dr. Sahana Kukke at [email protected] and [email protected] with any additional questions.


Gordon Research Conference: Neuroelectronic Interfaces

March 10, 2024 - March 15, 2024. The Neuroelectronic Interfaces GRC is a premier, international scientific conference focused on advancing the frontiers of science through the presentation of cutting-edge and unpublished research, prioritizing time for discussion after each talk.

American Physiology Summit - 2024

April 4, 2024 - April 7, 2024. Explore the science behind the biggest issues impacting life and health today and make connections that will last a lifetime at the 2024 American Physiology Summit.

11th Annual Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium

April 10, 2024 - April 12, 2024. This symposium brings together basic scientists, engineers, clinicians, industrial practitioners, and entrepreneurs to discuss challenges and opportunities in neuromodulation. Recently, it was decided that aspects of the SPARC PI Meeting could be opened to the MN Neuromodulation Symposium meeting. Travel awards for the Symposium are available, can be submitted here, and are due February 23.

New Webinars/Tutorials

SPARC Tools for Integrative Physiological Modeling

The American Physiology Society invites you to view the presentation of Dr. Maryann Martone and Dr. Peter Hunter on utilizing SPARC tools for exploring and modeling integrative physiology. A major component of the SPARC Portal is the SPARC Connectivity Knowledge Base of the Autonomic Nervous System (SCKAN), a centralized resource to populate, discover, and search autonomic nervous system connectivity knowledge over multiple scales. In this webinar, Maryann Martone, PhD, and Peter Hunter, PhD, explored the SCKAN knowledge base, SPARC Knowledge Graph and the potential uses of the SPARC Portal for the wider range of physiological processes.

USC Center for Autonomic Nerve Recording and Stimulation 2nd Annual Webinar

The USC Center for Autonomic Nerve Recording and Stimulation Systems (CARSS) is proud to announce our second annual webinar taking place May 7th 11am – 1pm PST. We invite everyone interested in learning more about our open-source peripheral nerve neuromodulation system, OpenNerve, and forming collaborations to join us. More updates, including registration for the virtual event, will be announced via the CARSS website.

New Tutorials Available

Two new tutorials have been published via the SPARC Help Center. The first tutorial shows how to reuse the SPARC dataset associated with the Cardiovascular System model that was featured at the APS webinar in October.
The second tutorial shows how to run ASCENT, a pipeline for sample-specific computational modeling of electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves on the o²S²PARC platform. The second tutorial accompanies three ASCENT-related o²S²PARC datasets that were published on the SPARC Portal. Thanks to these o²S²PARC datasets, users can now run ASCENT in their browsers and leverage cloud resources for their computations, without having to worry about installation, software licenses, etc. In addition, one of these templates, ASCENT Base, allows users to reproduce the results of Portal datasets, for example dataset 311.

How you can help

Survey Participants Needed

We are encouraging all SPARC-funded (past and present) to complete a short survey about their collaboration activities. This data will be used in an upcoming manuscript about the SPARC Program. Questions can be directed to [email protected] and [email protected].

User Research

Did you know? There’s a team of professionals whose objective is to improve the user experience of the SPARC portal. Some of you have worked with us in the past, and we thank you–some of you are meeting with us in February to investigate the curation process. We look forward to meeting you. Stay tuned, for results and requests for participation. Anyone who’s interested can participate in our studies. We encourage everyone to get involved–email us at [email protected], to get in touch!

SPARC DRC Open Office Hours

Join one of our weekly office hours to ask questions and learn more from the SPARC Data Resource Center Team. Find out more at this link on the SPARC Portal.