Flywheel Launches Imaging Platform at Columbia University to Drive Collaborative Research

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (October 27, 2017) – Flywheel, the collaborative science software company, announces the implementation of the Flywheel Center Edition at Columbia University. The system was designed for use by Columbia’s neuroscience community and their collaborators around the world, and will provide the foundation for a new paradigm in imaging research that brings together different expertise and disciplines.

This system was installed at Columbia’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute under the leadership of Dr. John Thomas Vaughan, Director of Magnetic Resonance Research and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia. The Zuckerman Institute is comprised of more than 50 labs with roughly 800 research staff, all dedicated to deciphering the inner workings of the brain and mind.

The multi-phased project started with capturing all data from the very first use of the Siemens magnets installed last year at the Zuckerman Institute. Phase 1 integrated two magnets where the data is automatically captured, organized, validated and indexed to support secure collaborative research. Phase 2 of the implementation includes plans to connect 7 more magnets and 12 labs.

“Our goal was to capture every piece of data from the newly installed MRI scanners,” said Dr. Vaughan who is also a Zuckerman Institute principal investigator, “and Flywheel allows us to do that without placing the burden on the researcher.”

The platform was implemented through a collaboration between Flywheel and Columbia’s information systems and research computing team. Flywheel’s flexible architecture allows a seamless integration into Columbia’s existing authentication and authorization infrastructure. “Flywheel’s platform alleviates the data management burden from the researcher,” said Imad Nijim, Flywheel COO. “We believe data management should be available to researchers just as simply as email and Wi-Fi.”

The ultimate goal of the project is for data from all of Columbia’s research MR scanners to be uploaded to a central database, where the principal investigators who collected the data can easily and securely access it at any time for their research needs or share with other researchers for broader collaboration. Researchers will be able to take advantage of the many powerful features found in the Flywheel platform. The Flywheel Utility Gears improve productivity by automating many routine post-processing algorithms, format conversion algorithms, and quality assurance algorithms. The Flywheel Search provides a powerful and convenient multi-modality metadata search and file access.

About Flywheel:
Flywheel is a software development company building a scientific data management and analysis platform that makes data accessible, shareable, and reproducible. A young and innovative company, Flywheel simplifies the capture, organization, and analysis of data while enabling scalable, effective data sharing between scientific research groups worldwide. This will empower scientists to do great work together by allowing them to concentrate on the science, not the IT. For more information, visit