Five years ago, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), in North Laurel, created the Brain Observatory Storage Service & Database (BossDB) – a scalable, cloud-native data ecosystem for high-resolution volumetric neuroscience datasets – with an eye toward making data open, accessible and easy to use.

Now, an expanded collaboration between BossDB and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Open Data Sponsorship Program will further enable the storage and accessibility of ever-expanding neuroimaging datasets generated by the neuroscience research community.

“This relationship will catalyze the democratization of data access and accelerate scientific exploration by researchers and members of the public,” said Will Gray Roncal, a co-investigator in the Neuroscience Group in APL’s Research and Exploratory Development Department.

Sandy Hider, the lead APL developer for the BossDB team agreed. “With this collaboration, APL hopes to provide an avenue for more individuals and organizations to participate in creative research in neuroscience, with potential downstream benefits to us all.”

BossDB was initially developed to facilitate data sharing as part of the Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (MICrONS) Program, funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to reverse engineer brain algorithms. The team is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of its BRAIN Initiative Informatics Program, created to build communities and infrastructure around shared data.