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Through collaboration with cancer clinicians, genetic researchers, statisticians, and information technology professionals, the Bioinformatics Core supports and enhances research activities at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center by providing Bioinformatics services and support.

The past five years have ushered in a wealth of data in biomedical research. From clinical scheduling to high throughput sequencing, new technologies are generating voluminous data around the clock. Effective utilization of these data has begun a new paradigm, termed Big Data Science. Big Data Science describes the research and application of data integration, analytics, and timely visualization for large scale data. Big Data Science requires large scale computational infrastructure, database and software systems for analysis of diverse data, and knowledgeable presentation to subject matter experts from multidisciplinary fields. The goal of this initiative was to produce Big Data Science for basic, translational, and clinical research at UNC.

UNC Lineberger bioinformatic core (LBC) expertise in Data Science began with the genomics program, particularly gene expression microarray analysis. By necessity, the personnel, computational infrastructure, and broad faculty expertise were built through internal and external recruitment. Over time, Big Data science was required as core services expanded to develop and administer multiple clinical databases and laboratory information management systems. At the same time, the explosion of genomics in cancer research spurred integration of these laboratory and clinical systems to facilitate high impact translational research. The University Cancer Research Fund has provided a foundation to expand the systems, infrastructure, and project support Big Data Science requires to carry out high impact cancer research and improved clinical care.