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Penn State, Geisinger Team on New Biomedical Big Data Program

CHICAGO (GenomeWeb) – Penn State University has established a new program to train graduate students to apply data science to biomedical sciences, including genomics.

Called Biomedical Big Data to Knowledge Training Program, or B2D2K, the program pairs Penn State students with university biomedical researchers, professionals from the Danville, Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Genomic Medicine Institute, and data scientists from around the Keystone State. It began for the spring semester with six students in a variety of disciplines.

Penn State has landed $1.4 million in grant funding for the program from the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. The university is putting an additional $1 million of its own money into B2D2K.

"This new training program emphasizes the integration of data science into clinical and biomedical research," program director Marylyn Ritchie said in a statement. "Students admitted to this training program will become a new generation of scientists who can mine mountains of complex scientific data to reveal the information buried there that can lead to advances in genetic and other types of biological and health-related research," Ritchie continued.

B2D2K will admit as many as nine Penn State students per year, each of whom must be working on a Ph.D. in an area of science that aligns with the goals of the program. The first group of six students is diverse, coming from Ph.D. programs in biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, human development, information science, molecular toxicology, and statistics.