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Stanford and Oxford team up for conference on "big data's" role in biomedicine

The number of gene-expression data sets available in public databases has climbed rapidly over the past decade, allowing researchers to spot disease trends without doing time-intensive experiments in the laboratory. The "big data" deluge promises to accelerate the process of understanding disease while driving down the costs of developing new therapies.

To underscore the wealth of opportunities for scientists who can mine these continuously growing databases in innovative ways, Stanford Medicine and Oxford University are sponsoring a three-day conference next month on big data's role in biomedicine. The event will be held May 22-24 at the School of Medicine's Li Ka Shing Center for Learning & Knowledge and will feature keynote speeches from Anne Wojcicki, CEO and co-founder of the consumer-genomics company 23andMe, and David Ewing Duncan, author of Experimental Man. In addition, attendees will hear from more than two dozen speakers representing large information-technology corporations, startups, venture-capital firms and academia.

In a release, Stanford systems-medicine chief Atul Butte, MD, PhD, who is the conference's scientific program committee chair, commented on the motivation for hosting the conference and what participants will learn at the event:

We're bringing together people from academia, industry, government and foundations who want to learn more about how big data can drive innovation for a healthier world... We expect that attendees will walk away from this with a strong understanding of the latest tools and technologies available for studying and using big data in biomedicine, of where the unmet medical needs are and how they can be addressed with these approaches, and of what the tractable next steps are that they can take to become innovators.

Additional program information and registration details are available on the conference website.

Previously: Mining data from patients’ charts to identify harmful drug reactions, Strength in numbers: Harnessing public gene data to answer a diverse range of research questions, Mining medical discoveries from a mountain of ones and zeroes, The data deluge: A report from Stanford Medicine magazine, Stanford’s Atul Butte discusses outsourcing research online at TEDMED and Health-care experts discuss opportunities and challenges of mining ‘big data’ in health care
Photo by Dwight Eschliman

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