Pan African Bioinformatics Network for H3Africa

H3ABioNet February 2016 Seminar

The H3ABioNet Seminar co-ordinating team on behalf of the H3ABioNet Research Working Group cordially invite you to join us for the February 2016 H3ABioNet seminars focusing on “Big Data”.

Seminar Date:  Thursday18th February 2016

Seminar Time:  1pm UTC / 2pm WAT / 3pm CAT / 4pm EAT

URL to join the seminar: https://mconf.sanren.ac.za/webconf/h3abionet_seminars

Seminar Format:
The theme for the H3BioNet February 2016 seminars is “Big Data”. Two seminar talks will be provided by distinguished scientists working in the arena of big data that will focus on the current challenges, strategies and ongoing infra-structure initiatives to deal with big data and genomics. Each seminar talk will be 15 to 20 minutes long and followed by a 10 to 15 minute question and answer sessions between audience participants and the speakers.

Seminar Abstracts

“What is Big Data and Why Should I Care?"
Dr. Matthew McQueen, Director of the Biostatistics Core of the University of Colorado Boulder Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC), Director of the Public Health Program, University of Colorado Boulder.

Over the past decade, the rapid advance of technology has resulted in an unprecedented amount of molecular and genetic data. For biomedical researchers, these data present many new opportunities to gain insights into the biological factors underlying disease processes. This large scale data also presents numerous challenges for researchers ranging from processing to analysis to interpretation. As we navigate through the “big data” era of biomedical research, it is critical that we are able to convert the rich high dimensional data into valuable information as it relates to disease etiology and disease risk. In this talk, we will discuss some of the challenges and opportunities of “big data” and strategies that researchers are using to harness the data to yield useful information for understanding the disease process.

Speaker’s Biography: Dr. McQueen’s research objectives are focused on the development and application of epidemiological and biostatistical methods to advance our understanding of human disease from genes to populations. His research program primarily involves the study of high-throughput molecular and genetic ‘big data’ in the context of established and informative longitudinal studies of obesity, substance use and other general health and disease outcomes. Dr. McQueen is the Director of the Biostatistics Core of the University of Colorado Boulder Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) and is also the founding Director for the newly established Public Health Program on the University of Colorado Boulder campus.


KnowEnG, the Knowledge Engine for Genomics
Prof. Victor Jongeneel, Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), Director of Bioinformatics at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB), Director of the High-Performance Biological Computing (HPCBio) group at the IGB, NCSA, and the Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Bioengineering

KnowEnG is one of the Centers of Excellence for Big Data Computing funded by NIH under its Big Data to Knowledge program. Its main goal is to develop methods that allow genomic datasets to be analyzed in the context of a Knowledge Network derived from the known relationships between genes and their products, and to implement these methods in a publically accessible, scalable, cloud-based cyberenvironment. I will give a short overview of KnowEnG and of the cyberinfrastructure that supports it, and how this fits into the vision for the NIH Data Commons. I will conclude by briefly outlining how the H3Africa program could benefit from this work.

Speaker’s Biography: http://www.h3abionet.org/hpcbio