To train the next generation of scientists and informaticians, the University of Missouri Informatics Institute, teaming up with 23 faculty from Veterinary Medicine, Human Medicine, Engineering, Animal Sciences, Statistics, Nursing, and Journalism, has developed a collaborative pre-doctoral training program to provide elite incoming students with specialized training in Big Data under the One Health theme. This proposal requests support from the National Institutes of Health for a training grant on Massive and Complex Data Analytics, Pre-Doctoral Training in One Health. This training grant will provide funding to support six trainees per year. The faculty members participating in this training program comprise an exceptional group of outstanding scientists selected from MU's highly-interdisciplinary pool of researchers and educators. Students will participate in a training program that has both department-specific and training program-wide components. Our unique departmental components include: (1) Required Data Science and Analytic classes that are highly personalized to ensure core competencies for trainees from diverse technical backgrounds. (2) A specialized, tailored informatics curriculum appropriate for the unique research interests of each trainee; (3) A group of outstanding scientists to serve as academic mentors and research role-models for intra- and interdisciplinary research; Our interdisciplinary components include: (1) Tri-labs rotations, allowing students to gain hands-on wet-lab experience in human and animal health, as well as informatics; (2) Instruction in written and oral communication, so that our trainees will be able to efficiently disseminate their analytics outcomes for actionable plans; (3) A suite of creativity events and student-driven seminars, allowing students to work in teams with senior researcher to address and identify current and future research challenges; and (4) Professional networking that enables our trainees to present their work at national and international meetings. Together, these departmental and program-wide components provide our trainees with a depth of disciplinary expertise, and a breadth of exposure to other disciplines. Under the One Health theme, a new breed of data analyst will be trained; one who can quickly analyze animal and human data and infer discoveries for improved human health.
Biomedical researchers are producing ever-growing massive datasets, which contain enormous amounts of useful information; unfortunately, this information often remains unused or underutilized, due to a lack of analytic expertise, or absence of specialized, useful tools. We propose to train a generation of data analysts through the One Health theme, with a uniquely broad understanding of the challenges facing biomedical research in the 21st Century. We will equip them with the ability to collaborate and communicate with other scientists across disciplinary boundaries that will result in the creation of analytic tols and methods that will drive the next century of biomedical investigation.
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