The National Institute of Health (NIH) is looking for help processing large amounts of data stemming from its research into Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia conditions.

In a post on, NIH said its Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (CARD) will generate long-read sequencing data from roughly 4000 patients with Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Lewy body dementia, and healthy subjects.

This project will produce roughly 8000 terabytes of data. NIH said CARD will need a contractor to help it develop pipelines for storing, analyzing, and harmonizing these data sets on cloud-based computing platforms.

The RFI also said that after creating data pipelines, the contractor will use datasets to identify DNA “methylation changes and single nucleotide variants,” which CARD says are important to research further as they have been linked to normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

“The government will then use this service provided by the contractor to evaluate how the epigenetic and genomic landscape in challenging regions contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases,” the RFI says.

While the contractor is responsible for analyzing the data and reporting its findings to CARD, NIH stressed that NIH and CARD retain all ownership of the data resulting from this contract, including any algorithms developed.

NIH says it expects to award a firm-fixed-price purchase order with an anticipated period of performance of one year from the date of award with an optional six-month period.

NIH has increasingly been relying on the cloud to help process disease research data. Earlier this year, NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) was looking for cloud-based data management services to help develop a large research resource to advance in breast cancer research. The research resource is part of the Confluence Project, which aims to build a large research resource for the scientific community for studying the genetic architecture of breast cancer.

NIH has also turned to the private sector for help managing other large data sets. In February of this year, NIH looked for help to collect, store, and disseminate medical images and data related to other cancer screenings. The data management solution was needed to manage data stemming from the NIH’s National Lung Screening Trial.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.