Santa Cruz Tech Beat


$1M Grant Will Help CSUMB Students Prep for Careers in Data Science

(Source: CSUMB website)

October 29, 2015 — Seaside, CA

Big data is a big deal

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Cal State Monterey Bay $1 million to train a diverse workforce in biomedical data science as part of its Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative.

Biomedical data science is the application of statistics and computer science to biomedical problems. It has hundreds of applications, from providing personalized health advice to tracking disease outbreaks.

There is a growing demand for new ways to store, manage, analyze and use the massive amounts of electronic data being generated, especially medical data. The five-year grant will help to train professionals for that field and will target students from historically underrepresented and low-income backgrounds.

The grant will support research experiences for students and faculty as well as curriculum development. It will be used for three major efforts:

  • To establish a summer research program for CSUMB students at the Center for Big Data in Translational Genomics at UC Santa Cruz. The center works to help the biomedical community use genomic information to better understand human health and disease. Visiting CSUMB students will spend the summer working side-by-side with UCSC scientists and data specialists, learning research skills to manage and interpret genomic data.
  • To develop new programs, such as an interdisciplinary statistics major, that will include math, statistics, biology, behavioral and computer sciences to prepare students for graduate school and careers in research or industry.
  • To create opportunities to extend CSUMB faculty training and research in biomedical data science in collaboration with UCSC faculty members and researchers.”The collaboration promises to create deep connections with UCSC and to create an educational pipeline for our students to achieve graduate degrees in biomedical data science,” said Dr.Judith Canner, associate professor of math and statistics and principal investigator on the grant.”We are excited by this opportunity to strengthen our ties to CSUMB. The new BD2K partnership will increase collaboration between our faculties, and will help to attract talented CSUMB students to our graduate programs,” said Dr. Zia Isola, director of diversity programs at UCSC’s Genomics Institute.

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