New Center Formed to Support Biomedical Data Science

Yale School of Medicine has formed the Yale Center for Biomedical Data Science (CBDS) to support and facilitate data science activities at the medical school and for biological and biomedical data science activities broadly across the university. 

The center, which will engage with faculty from many departments across Yale, is being created to build on critical computational and informatics strengths and foster interactions that strengthen Yale's ability to investigate large-scale biological and medical problems. The activities and goals of CBDS include:

  • Enhancing coordination in data-intensive areas associated with genomic and other ‘omics,’ imaging, wearable devices, electronic medical records and other large biomedical data sources
  • Convening a community of faculty in fields ranging from basic biological research to clinical investigation with a focus on large data sets and their ensuing analyses
  • Establishing an open, collaborative environment as a centerpoint for expertise in biomedical data
  • Communicating university-wide about seminars and other events in this field
  • Supporting the development of educational programs
  • Serving as a locus of expertise for investigators on campus, and connecting that expertise with non-expert investigators

To get CBDS off the ground, it will be guided by a steering committee and two interim co-director: Hongyu Zhao, PhD, chair and Ira V. Hiscock Professor of Biostatistics and professor of genetics and of statistics and data science; and Mark Gerstein, PhD, Albert L. Williams Professor of Biomedical Informatics and professor of molecular biophysics & biochemistry and of computer science. An executive director responsible for moving the center toward these goals is currently being recruited. 

The Center will enhance research across the spectrum of biomedical sciences through the development and integration of rapidly emerging methods in data science — making possible what has been impossible for any single department or school to accomplish. A Dean's Workshop will take place on February 7, 2018 to introduce the new center and highlight some of its programs. 

CBDS has a founding group of Yale faculty members, and other faculty interested in becoming a member should  send their CVs to Beth Pranger (beth.pranger@yale.edu) in the Dean’s office at the School of Medicine. All CBDS members will be listed on a new website and will receive emails about relevant seminars and center events. CBDS members will be expected to participate in center activities such as workshops, teaching, and recruitment committees, with specifics to be defined as the center evolves.

This article was submitted by Jill Max on January 30, 2018.