Syntropy Joins MITRE’s Mission to Unlock the Power of Real-World Data for Cancer Research and Treatment

Partnership on mCODE is aimed at removing barriers to standardized data, improving patient outcomes

Syntropy, a technology company specializing in healthcare data integration and collaboration solutions, today announced it is joining forces with MITRE to provide data integration support for the mCODE™ (minimal Common Oncology Data Elements) data standard. The partnership seeks to improve the overall quality and consistency of cancer data available to clinicians, patients, researchers, and other stakeholders in the fight against cancer.

Today, more than 18 million people are living with cancer globally, with thousands of additional cases diagnosed every day. While there is a vast array of data available to support oncology research and clinical care, the majority of it is contained in electronic health records (EHRs), which are not always uniform in the way they collect, analyze and store data. The lack of standardized workflows, ontologies, and integrations has significantly hindered data’s true impact and potential in oncology. Cancer centers can use Syntropy for data integration and data modeling, but they often devote significant time and resources to the process of cleaning, structuring, and linking their data.

mCODE’s core set of structured data elements for oncology establishes minimum recommended standards for the structure and content of health record information across use cases and users. Bringing a common data standard to the oncology community enables clinicians to capture critical information for downstream uses. That means any researcher or clinician can start using Syntropy’s platform to quickly connect to enriched data sets and collaborate using a standard, shared data language.

“Our work with MITRE on mCODE is a natural alliance as we are both focused on revolutionizing the oncology landscape by helping researchers unlock the value of their data,” said James Kugler, Director of Syntropy. “By working with MITRE to pair Syntropy with mCODE, we are providing a novel, industry-leading infrastructure that simplifies and accelerates collaboration-driven insights for cancer centers across the United States.”

With mCODE, clinicians can capture and commonly define key data points for patients throughout clinical workflows and at every patient interaction. This helps facilitate research and collaboration to improve future care, leading to better therapies, reduced costs and enhanced outcomes overall. Through the support of the mCODE standard, Syntropy will now offer even greater user-friendly insight and data transparency for researchers and cancer centers. Syntropy, which provides a holistic view of organizations’ complete data landscape, will help users more easily interpret collected data by combining scattered data silos and integrating them under a common ontology aligned with mCODE. Syntropy will also streamline administrative, clinical and research collaborations by providing transparency into the uses of institutional data under granular access controls.

Dr. Jay Schnitzer, MITRE’s chief medical and technology officer, said, “With less than six percent of cancer patients participating in clinical trials and the majority of information collected by EHR systems incompatible, high-quality data for cancer research is severely lacking. By outlining common, foundational data elements, the promise of mCODE is to accelerate interoperable data exchange and enable critical care- and

Read more

How Old Family Fishing Photos Unlock the History of Atlantic Fisheries

Citizen Science Salon is a partnership between Discover and SciStarter.org.


Rusty Hudson grew up on the salt-laden docks of Daytona Beach, Florida. As a third-generation fisherman, he naturally took to the industry. When he was just 9 years old, Hudson started his first job as a bait boy aboard the Mako, a charter boat owned by his grandfather, Captain Jake Stone. 

By the late 1960s, he was working regularly on his family’s fishing boats. While guests prepared to shuffle aboard the boat to pursue a myriad of fish species, including snappers, groupers, jacks, mackerels, and dolphinfish (mahi-mahi), Hudson busied himself with bait prep. On days that the Mako hosted a small party of fishermen, the boy would get to pick up a rod and join them. And after customers returned to the dock from a day of fishing with Hudson, his grandfather and the crew, they would pose with the captain and their catch to commemorate the day. Each photo created a record of the catch, the people, and the experience, a memento for the family photo album. 

Years later, these historic photos are providing more than just memories of a fun day fishing on the water. Hudson realized how valuable his family’s photos could be in re-creating the catch from the 1940s to 1970s — a time before scientific monitoring programs collected data on recreational and for-hire fisheries. “I felt the for-hire pictures of the past could illustrate the range of fishing conditions and catches to fishery scientists and managers,” Hudson says. Knowing more about the fisheries of the past could help all of us better understand the health of fish populations today.


Take Part: Join FISHstory and Help Scientists Sleuth Old Fishing Photos


fish story fishstory

Thanks to citizen scientists, researchers are learning about how fisheries have changed in the past half century by studying an archive of family photos taken after sport fishing trips. (Credit: Rusty Hudson/Hudson, Stone, and Timmons Families)

FISHstory’s Beginnings 

The idea for the FISHstory project was hatched over a decade ago when Hudson participated in a stock assessment for red snapper in the South Atlantic. As his family’s informal historian, he had amassed an archive of hundreds of historic photos from his family’s fishing fleet. When he showed the photos to scientists, it kickstarted discussions about the insights these photos might unlock. The value of these photos was evident to all, as they represented one of the only data sources available to document recreational and for-hire catches from this historic time period. However, analyzing hundreds of photos can be labor intensive — so there were challenges in getting a project off the ground. 

Enter the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s (SAFMC) Citizen Science Program. Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, the SAFMC is responsible for the conservation and management of fisheries in federal waters from North Carolina through the Florida Keys. The SAFMC’s Citizen Science Program was developed over the course of three years with guidance from a wide array of stakeholders and partners. The

Read more