The Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute was officially established in February 2009 at MGH, MIT and Harvard with a dual mission: to contribute to the accelerated discovery of an HIV/AIDS vaccine and subsequently to establish itself as a world leader in the collaborative study of immunology. Prior to 2009, the organization conducted its work as the Partners AIDS Research Center, part of the Partners HealthCare system that includes Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The Institute’s work touches the lives of patients around the world, with active research being conducted among patient populations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Beginning in 2007, J2 developed a sophisticated web-based workflow system, built using Adobe Flex and InterSystems Caché, designed to assist the Institute’s research team in the collection and analysis of highly complex data about the HIV virus in its many forms. The data being managed by the system includes anonymized patient demographics, detailed genetic information, blood sample inventory, and several classes of test results that show the interactions between patient samples and any of hundreds of distinct peptides.
When the application was rolled out in early 2008, it revolutionized the way in which immunologists at the Institute identify patients for study, request samples and tests from the various patient populations, cross-reference results from multiple patients and assays, and perform longitudinal analysis on individual patients to determine the efficacy of different courses of treatment. Enhancements made since that initial release have steadily added support for new research workflows, ensured compliance with institutional review board requirements, and introduced online graphical analysis capabilities.