On Monday and Tuesday, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation hosted a gathering of 65 information technology professionals from around the country.
The IT professionals came to OMRF from more than 25 research centers to attend the Association of Independent Research Institutes’ 2016 Information Technology Summit.
AIRI is a nationwide group of more than 80 independent, nonprofit research institutes across the U.S. In addition to OMRF, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation of Ardmore is a member of AIRI, as are such world-renowned research centers as the Salk Institute of Biological Studies and the Scripps Research Institute, both in La Jolla, Calif., and New York’s Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory.
“As an association, we are on the leading edge of science and have realized that technology, particularly information technology, is critical to what our scientists are trying to accomplish,” said the Scripps Research Institute’s Cary E. Thomas, who currently serves as AIRI’s president.
Among the many topics covered at the conference were Internet security and the storage challenges presented by the massive amounts of data generated by today’s biomedical scientists.
“The purpose of the summit was to bring together IT professionals from our sister institutes and discuss the challenges that we all face,” said Brent Keck, OMRF’s chief information officer and co-chair of the summit.
The group meets every other year at different locations around the country. After meeting in Boston, La Jolla and Seattle in previous years, the group chose Oklahoma City as the site for this year’s summit.
Thomas said the group chose Oklahoma City because of its location in the center of the country, making it easy to reach for attendees from both coasts. “OMRF was a perfect spot for our gathering,” he said.