Bioinformatics combines computer science, statistics, mathematics, and engineering to analyze and interpret biological data and integrate across levels of analysis (genome to phenome). Bioinformatics is an especially integral part of understanding precision medicine and omics, and the need for strong computational analysis underpins other BIO5 research emphasis areas such as imaging, wearable technology, and ecosystem genomics. Big data approaches reveal patterns that enable the connection across levels of analysis not possible at an experimental scale.
The UA is poised for major growth in a comprehensive bioinformatics infrastructure. The National Science Foundation sponsored CyVerse and the UA Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics bring strengths in extracting actionable knowledge from large data sets that span multiple levels of analysis. The UA’s partnership with Banner Health means that enormous amounts of de-identified health records data are available for researchers to seek novel associations that drive subsequent experimental and drug discovery work. New transdisciplinary teams are using data to predict health events like asthma attacks in advance to reduce health care burden by focusing on prevention instead of treatment.
CyVerse develops cyberinfrastructure that uniquely enables scientists across the diverse fields that comprise life sciences to address grand challenge questions in new ways, to stimulate and facilitate cross-disciplinary research, to promote biology and computer science research interactions, and to train the next generation of scientists on the use of CI in research and education.