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Biomedical informatics at UB gets a boost with $2.5 million from the National Library of Medicine


Fri, Aug 4th 2017 06:05 pm
Personalized medicine, tracking of deadly epidemics and new insights into drug side effects are just a few of the ways biomedical informatics is helping enhance medical research and clinical care. Big data science holds the promise of revolutionizing how health care data are used to provide better care for patients.
But as more and more health care data become available, the ability to efficiently analyze and utilize these data is growing increasingly problematic. At the same time, there aren't enough people trained in the field of biomedical informatics.
Now, a new five-year $2.5 million grant to the department of biomedical informatics in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo will train a new cadre of research leaders skilled in analyzing and interpreting these data.
The funding, known as T15, from the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health, supports doctoral and postdoctoral level training for research careers in biomedical informatics and data science. The training programs are designed to meet the growing need for investigators trained in biomedical computing, data science and related fields with applications in health care clinical informatics, translational bioinformatics and clinical research informatics.
Over the five years of the grant, the department will be able to train as many as 15 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in biomedical informatics.
UB's program will focus on three major areas:
Clinical informatics, including sociotechnical and human-centered design, workflow analysis and cybersecurity
Translational bioinformatics, including database management, pharmacogenomics and predictive modeling
Clinical research informatics, including a big data science training program, statistical machine learning and data mining
 "The NLM grant puts the department at the forefront of this rapidly changing field," said Peter Elkin, M.D., professor and chair of the department of biomedical informatics, and director of the new training program. Elkin also is director of the informatics core of UB's Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
"Biomedical informatics is the field that will provide the infrastructure necessary to allow scientists to perform translational and clinical genomic research more efficiently," he explained. "The National Library of Medicine funding, together with our established fellowship program in clinical informatics, will allow our department to play a key role in developing tomorrow's research leaders in biomedical informatics."
He noted trainees in the new program will benefit from UB's existing Big Data-Scientist Training Enhancement Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of the NIH. The UB program was one of just six sites funded nationally in 2015.

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