The goal of this proposed COBRE Center is to unite computational and basic biological approaches to the study of human disease. To support this general goal, the proposed Biomedical Big Data Core (BBD Core) will build the necessary infrastructure for biomedical researchers at Brown and Affiliated Hospitals to acquire, store, process, and analyze large-scale biomedical datasets. The near-term, primary mission of the BBD Core is to support Junior Investigators in the analysis and interpretation of high-throughput DNA/RNA sequencing datasets, including both data generated in their laboratories and large publically available datasets. The BBD Core will serve as the central resource for big data analysis, and will address the computational and analytical needs shared by multiple Junior Investigators, investigators who lack resources to build the necessary resources within their research groups. The Core will also facilitate scientific interactions between the projects in the COBRE, synergizing across common themes of biomedical big data. The long-term goal of the BBD Core is to provide a sustainable resource to support the big data challenges faced by contemporary genomics studies across Brown University and our Affiliated Hospitals. This resource will enable biomedical researchers to focus on the scientific and clinical challenges of such studies, while also avoiding unnecessary redundancy by building computational/analytical expertise independently in each laboratory. The Core also provides training for the broad research community to ensure the sustainability of next cohort of junior investigators. Dr. Benjamin Raphael and Dr. Zhijin Wu will be the faculty leaders of the BBD Core. This Core will add four staff scientists to facilitate computational approaches to human disease research. A Computational Biologist/Director will oversee routine operations and resources allocation. The database developer will work with all projects to develop and maintain databases of project data and public genomic databases. The computer programmer will develop pipelines for data processing and implement existing and/or novel algorithms under the guidance of the director and COBRE Junior Investigators. The Biostatistician will provide data analysis support.
Personalized genomic medicine is emerging as a new approach to diagnosis and treatment of human diseases that has been embraced by NIH. The access to an individual's genomic information has been powered by tremendous advances in the technologies of DNA sequencing. However, it is the underlying computational, biostatistical and bioinformatic infrastructure that has truly enabled this revolution. The Core facility we propose to build will provide this kind of infrastructure for the Brown biomedical community.
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