Li Ka Shing Foundation gave a grant to the Stanford University School of Medicine to boost the Big Data in Biomedicine initiative in collaboration with the University of Oxford in England via recruiting new faculty, establishing new educational programs and a major conference on big data in May 2014 at Stanford.
“In the world of medicine, we have a tsunami of data crashing over us, including electronic patient records, DNA sequencing, biological data on disease mechanisms, clinical trials, medical imaging and pharmaceutical records. We can put all these large data sets to work to identify innovative approaches to treatment and to improving access to care,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine.
The University of Oxford faculty members are leaders in one of the largest patient databanks in the world, the UK biobank, which has biomedical information on some 500,000 individuals. (About mining patient databanks for developing new medicines, see this post.)
The Stanford arm of the effort will be directed by Euan Ashley, MD, PhD, whose research focuses on developing methods for interpreting genome-sequencing data to improve diagnosis of genetic disease and to develop targeted therapies for patients.