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Baylor Opens New Biomedical Research Center to Provide Data Analysis Resource in Houston

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Baylor College of Medicine is opening a new data analysis center that will provide a centralized resource for students and faculty to analyze high-throughput data sets as part of their biomedical research and personalized medicine efforts.

The new facility, named the Computational and Integrative Biomedical Research Center, will be directed by Olivier Lichtarge, a professor of molecular and human genetics at BCM.

In a statement, Lichtarge said that the need to "integrate massive amounts of molecular and genetic data with the individual features of diseases and of their response to drugs" necessitates "a concerted effort to distribute current computational tools widely and also to create the conditions for inventing a new generation of biological and medical algorithms."

This will include inventing new methods for pattern recognition, classification, functional inferences, heuristics, machine learning, and developing equations and models, he said.

Paul Klotman, president and CEO of BCM, said in a statement that establishing the new center at Baylor "will give us a unique opportunity to ask the right questions and use the answers to tailor our approach to each patient more finely."

In addition to drawing research talent in biology, medicine, mathematics, and computer science from BCM, the center will be open to physicians, biologists, and computational scientists from other institutions in the Texas Medical Center, which comprises BCM, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Rice University, and several dozen other hospitals and research organizations.

The new center "will allow our scientists to take advantage of high-throughput biological data and put traditional hypothesis-driven research in its greater genomics context," Lichtarge said.