A new center at Baylor College of Medicine will create a more efficient, centralized resource for students and faculty members to analyze high-throughput data sets, such as human genome data, to solve complex problems in biomedical research and advance personalized medicine.

Directed by Dr. Olivier Lichtarge, a professor of molecular and human genetics at BCM, the Computational and Integrative Biomedical Research (CIBR) Center will bring together experts in biology, medicine, mathematics and computer science.

Tailor our approach

"Leadership in disease prevention and patient therapy is increasingly dependent on how well we can sift through data to recognize complex biomarkers of disease," said Dr. Paul Klotman, president and CEO of BCM. "The CIBR Center will give us a unique opportunity to ask the right questions and use the answers to tailor our approach to each patient more finely."

Lichtarge said a major goal of the new center is to foster collaborations between physicians, biologists and computational scientists across Baylor and across the Texas Medical Center.

Enhance research capabilities

"A growing challenge in all areas of biomedical research is to integrate massive amounts of molecular and genetic data with the individual features of diseases and of their response to drugs. This requires 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."

As the availability of these types of data increases, the CIBR Center will serve as an important tool to further BCM’s research capabilities.

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

For example, from data to models and from models to therapies, we will need to invent new methods for pattern recognition, classification, functional inferences, heuristics, machine learning and developing equations and models, he said.

The center is open to all members of the Texas Medical Center, and of the greater Houston research community.