Sep 16 2014
We were delighted to have Dr. Warren Kibbe, Director of NCI’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) kick off the discussion at ICBI’s first MeetUp on Biomedical Data Science in June. Dr. Kibbe gave a lightning talk about a national learning health system for cancer genomics where we can learn from every patient who comes into a doctor’s office for treatment. Although many patients support more data sharing and will consent to their de-identified genomic data being used for research it’s still mired in privacy issues, Dr. Kibble stated. We need to lower barriers to accessing patient data. Dr. Kibble spoke about the HHS Blue Button initiative, which will enable patients to access and download their electronic health record (EHR) data and release their information freely to doctors and others. He also spoke about the cancer cloud pilot initiative at NCI in which public data repositories will be co-located with advanced computing resources to enable researchers to bring their tools and methods to the data essentially democratizing access to troves of data being generated by the scientific community.
Dr. Yuriy Gusev, Sr. Bioinformatics Scientist at ICBI, next discussed large-scale translational genomics research on the cloud as the second lightening talk of the MeetUp. He presented research at ICBI utilizing genomics data produced by next generation sequencing technologies including whole exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNA-seq, miRNA seq, and an area we hope to get into in the future – epigenomics. The projects he discussed involve patient data from 40-2000 patient samples. He focused on novel applications of RNA sequencing for disease biomarker discovery and molecular diagnostics and emphasized the need for platforms allowing for scalability such as cloud computing provided by Amazon Web Services.
The meeting took place at Gordon Biersch in Rockville Town Center, which turned out to be too loud for the discussion but had good beer, of course, on the upside and provided a nice venue for networking.
If you are in the DC area please join us for the next MeetUp on September 24 at the Rockville Library (spaces are limited to the first 50 registrants). For details visit: http://www.meetup.com/Biomedical-Data-Science/events/202592062/