Discussion series looks at data issues in bioinformatics, genetics

The Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) will host a panel discussion on the data needs of the bioinformatics and genetics communities at research universities in the Triangle from 2:30 – 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26 at the Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill.

The panel is part of an ongoing discussion series on data related issues. The series, which began in July, was developed to stimulate a dialogue and develop strategies for meeting the growing data storage, management, processing and analysis needs of faculty at Triangle area universities. It grew out of collaboration among RENCI, the Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies, Inc. (TUCASI) and the Triangle Area Research Libraries Network (TRLN). That collaboration is working to develop and deploy a large-scale, high performance data storage system that will include large scientific and medical data sets and interactive real-time databases. It also explores retrieval and search capabilities that work with a wide variety of data sets and file formats.

Panelists for the Oct. 26 discussion are:

  • Dahlia Nielson, research assistant professor, statistics, North Carolina State University Bioinformatics Research Center.

Nielson develops techniques for fine-scale genetic mapping in human populations, using population history to help locate genes involved in the expression of hereditary diseases.  Her work in the Bioinformatics Research Center pulls together research and data from colleagues in a cross-section of departments.

  • Charles Perou, assistant professor, pathology and genetics, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC School of Medicine.

Perou’s laboratory characterizes the biological diversity of human tumors using DNA microarrays, molecular genetics, and cell biology. The goal is to classify tumors into subtypes of clinical relevance.

  • Saianand Balu, manager, Bioinformatics Group, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC School of Medicine.

Balu’s group provides support to Perou’s laboratory and to the biostatistics and data management groups at the Lineberger Center.

  • Terrence Furey, assistant research professor, biostatistics and bioinformatics and computer science, Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Duke University.

Furey’s research focuses on genome sequence analysis and has included computational analysis and validation of the human genome sequence. He is co-creator of the UCSC Genome Browser (link: genome.ucsc.edu)

Additional discussions in the series will be held Nov. 2 and Nov. 16; check the RENCI calendar page (link http://www.renci.org/news/calendar.php) for details. Those interesting in attending the Oct. 26 panel discussion should contact Leesa Brieger at leesa@renci.org. RENCI…Catalyst for Innovation
The Renaissance Computing Institute brings together computer and discipline scientists, artists, humanists, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, state leaders and educators for collaborations designed to reshape science, the economy, the state of North Carolina and the world. RENCI leverages its expertise and resources in leading edge computing, networking and data technologies to ignite innovation and find solutions to previously intractable problems. Founded in 2004 as a major collaborative venture of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina, RENCI is a statewide virtual organization.