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NIH to Put $656M Toward Biomedical Big Data Research Initiative; Francis Collins Comments

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Francis Collins

The National Institutes of Health will invest about $656 million in a biomedical big data research initiative through 2020 to develop software and support a training program for data discovery.

Program grantees will work to identify novel analytics to extract large volumes of data in order to improve human health, NIH said Oct. 9.

“Mammoth data sets are emerging at an accelerated pace in today’s biomedical research, and these funds will help us overcome the obstacles to maximizing their utility,” said Francis Collins, NIH director.

NIH allocated an initial funding amount of nearly $32 million in fiscal year 2014 for the Big Data to Knowledge initiative.

The new round of funds will support centers of excellence for big data computing, where researchers will develop resources for data integration, genomic data analysis and electronic health records data management.

A BD2K-LINCS perturbation data coordination and integration center will study how different types of cells, tissues and networks respond to drugs.

NIH will also back a BD2K data discovery index coordination consortium in order to launch a community-based biomedical data discovery index development to access biomedical data sets.

The new funds will also support workforce development for the education and training of researchers.

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