Cancer Data Science Pulse

The Cancer Data Science Pulse blog provides insights on trends, policies, initiatives, and innovation in the data science and cancer research communities from professionals dedicated to building a national cancer data ecosystem that enables new discoveries and reduces the burden of cancer.

In recognizing the Power of Data and celebrating NCI’s 50th anniversary, we asked Dr. Ned Sharpless what data means to him and the field of cancer research. Read about his past experiences and where he thinks data will take cancer research in the future!

On May 24, CBIIT welcomed Dr. Jill Barnholtz-Sloan as the new associate director for Informatics and Data Science. In this latest Q&A blog, Dr. Barnholtz-Sloan tells a little about herself, including what brought her to CBIIT, what keeps her centered, and what makes her most proud.

Did you ever wonder what goes into making data ready for analysis by researchers around the world? Introducing “Datum.” This single speck of data was conceptualized to show how NCI’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology supports cancer research by bringing data to life.

CBIIT’s May 19 Data Science Seminar Series speaker, Dr. Kristen Naegle, took the speed of computational biology, blended it with basic science know-how, and developed an algorithm that is proving to be remarkably effective in predicting kinase activity. Understanding kinases in oncology may help identify people who are more likely to respond (or not respond) to certain medications, further advancing precision medicine.

Dr. Charles Wang offers a sneak peek at his upcoming Data Science Seminar presentation, scheduled for April 7. His recent study provides guidance for choosing an appropriate scRNA-seq platform and software tool for a scRNA-seq study. Using these guidelines, scientists can select the workflow that will yield the most meaningful results.

What do winter storms, airplanes, and cancer research have in common? In this blog, experts on meteorology, aerospace engineering, and radiation oncology explore what we can learn from these very different fields to further advance how we target and apply radiation to more effectively treat cancerous tumors.

Imagine a day when your healthcare is so personalized that there’s no guessing as to what medication will work best for you or whether you are at risk for a particular disease. This is a bold prediction recently addressed by genomic experts, Dr. Karen Miga and Dr. Evan Eichler. This blog examines how advances in technology are drawing us closer to a time when genomic information becomes a routine part of every patient’s healthcare.

Artificial Intelligence offers boundless possibilities, especially in the healthcare field. In a recent CBIIT Data Science Seminar, Dr. James Zou showed how Computer Vision (CV) is helping create a new data-driven “language of morphology” that allows researchers to be more precise in interpreting histological images. Just as computers help propel self-driving cars along busy roadways, CV offers a faster, less-subjective method for assessing disease.

Our newest “Spotlight” features Jennifer Kwok, program manager in CBIIT’s Infrastructure and Information Technology Operations Branch. Much of her work centers on developing IT solutions for NCI staff and organizations to streamline and optimize their business functions and processes.

“Count Me In” (CMI) is a unique project that gives patients an opportunity to share their cancer-related data directly with scientists. According to Corrie Painter, associate director of CMI, this is a largely untapped but vital part of data science. Here she describes the project and what it could mean for future research efforts.