The University of Arizona

SISTA Colloquium Details

Date: Monday, October 25, 2010

Time: 12:00 p.m.

Location: Gould-Simpson Bldg., Room 906
Light refreshments: 9th floor atrium area - 11:50 a.m.

Speaker: Nirav Merchant
Bio Computing Facility
Arizona Research Laboratories
University of Arizona

Title: Is There An App For That?: A Quest In Bio-Information

Abstract:   Enabling translational and transformational discoveries in the life sciences are a high priority across funding agencies (NIH, NSF, USDA
etc). Exemplar initiatives such as the NIH “bench to bedside” effort are attempting to accelerate the discovery lifecycle by reengineering the research infrastructure, with a singular goal of facilitating the rapid transformation of basic research in the laboratories into applied clinical interventions.

The success of these accelerated initiatives across all funding agencies is greatly dependent on how innovations from CISE (Computer Information Science and Engineering) and allied disciplines are adopted and integrated into the discovery lifecycle. Interdisciplinary research undoubtedly is the engine that powers these innovations, the ability to transform essential research grade resources from multiple disciplines into production grade solutions for application in the life sciences pose significant challenges.

I will discuss typical challenges encountered while architecting and implementing infrastructure for life science research projects; highlighting the growing and urgent need for “computational thinking” and “biological thinking” aware and trained professionals across disciplines.

In my talk I will also discuss recent experiences from two projects:
(1)USDA funded Stealth Health project, which involves mobile devices, geospatial data integration with social media,
(2) the cyberinfrastructure oriented NSF funded iPlant Collaborative project.