NIH Hire Formally Recognizes Age of 'Big Data'

December 10, 2013

The National Institutes of Health has hired its first permanent associate director of data science -- a formal signal by the biomedical agency that the age of "big data" has arrived in scientific research. The NIH's director, Frances S. Collins, said that Philip E. Bourne, associate vice chancellor for innovation and industry alliances at the University of California at San Diego, would help ensure that the NIH plays a "major role in coordinating access to and analysis of many different data types that make up this revolution in biological information.” Bourne, who is also a professor of pharmacology, will take over from Eric D. Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, who Collins appointed in an acting role earlier this year to drive the agency's big data work.

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