The mission of the Biomedical Informatics Shared Resource (BISR) is to support HICCC investigators in four critical areas including: Adoption, support, and maintenance of an electronic, caBIG compliant, centralized clinical trial management system; Access to key expertise in the use of advanced data analysis tools and methodologies for research publications and grant proposals, reflecting established best practices; Access to state-of-the-art software, databases, and models for basic and clinical research; Access to high-performance computing infrastructure for data analysis and data sharing. The BISR director and deputy director (Drs. Califano and Hripcsak) have extensive experience respectively in bioinformatics and clinical informatics, are active in the conduct of basic and clinical research, and have made key contributions to Columbia's current position as a leading institution in biomedical informatics. While increasingly vital to the success of cancer research projects, biomedical informatics support is often not available to experimental and clinical investigators. The BISR allows HICCC investigators to tap into a vast array of biomedical informatics resources at CU by providing advanced data analysis services, biomedical informatics tools and databases, and one of the largest academic computer clusters dedicated to biological research. BISR leadership also acts as a catalyst in forging new collaborations between HICCC investigators and more than 40 biomedical informatics faculty at CU. Specifically, the BISR supports the CRMO data acquisition and management requirements, works with a large team of caBIG/NCI funded programmers developing integrative bioinformatics platforms (geWorkbench), supports all caBIG initiatives at CU, and is piloting the integration of pathology, clinical, and genomic data for translational research. Currently, a large and increasing contingent of HICCC investigators have successfully used the shared resource and the BISR has been instrumental in the submission of a vast majority of funded proposals since the last review cycle, including several R01s, large Program Projects, and a U54 for the creation of a National Center for Biomedical Computing.
Increasingly, discovery in cancer research is driven by analyses of multidimensional, genome-wide datasets, requiring the use of powerful computational resources and sophisticated analytical methods. The BISR enables cost-effective execution through the aggregation of expensive personnel and computational infrastructure that would be impractical to replicate in individual investigator labs.
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