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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

The Knowledge Engine for Genomics Gains Momentum

Across the Midwest, summer is the season of growth. For KnowEnG, a Center of Excellence established by an NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative award to the University of Illinois in partnership with the Mayo Clinic, this summer’s activities have highlighted both how much has already been accomplished in the past two years and the promise of its newest directions.


University of Illinois awarded $8M from NIH to study nuclear structure

For years genome-mapping technology has understood DNA as a linear code, but that’s not how it exists in the cell: it’s tangled up in 3D inside the nucleus, with higher- and lower-density areas. Moreover, it exists in the fourth dimension as well—gene clusters can shift their positions over time. But what does this differential positioning within nuclei imply, and what does it mean when it changes?

Cutting Big Data Down to a Usable Size

Next generation DNA sequencing technologies have turned the vision of precision medicine into a plausible reality, but also threaten to overwhelm computing infrastructures with unprecedented volumes of data.  A recent $1.3M award from the National Institutes of Health will allow researchers at the University of Illinois and Stanford to help address this challenge by developing novel data compression strategies.

Harnessing the Power of Big Data: A Revolution in Genomic Data Analysis

Internet search engines like Google allow us to search and parse the collective knowledge of the world—they anticipate the user’s questions, remember preferences, deliver information quickly and clearly.  Why can’t researchers trying to discover the most effective disease treatment employ the same analytical power to the knowledge discovery challenges of their work?

Illinois, Mayo Clinic Collaborate to Revolutionize Genomic Data Analysis

Today’s researchers, working with the advantages of new, sophisticated laboratory technology, have unleashed a river of valuable biomedical data—much more, in fact, than many of them have the tools to properly analyze, or the capacity to store.  In 2012, the National Institutes of Health created the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative to enable efforts to harness the potential of this flood of information.  As part of the first wave of BD2K funding, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and

Victor Jongeneel appointed to NIH PubMed Central Advisory Committee

Victor Jongeneel, director of High-Performance Biological Computing (HPCBio), has been appointed to the PubMed Central Advisory Committee of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The committee advises the NIH on the content and operation of the PubMed Central repository, and also establishes criteria to certify groups submitting materials to the system, monitors the operation of the system, and ensures that PubMed Central evolves and remains responsive to the needs of researchers, publishers, librarians and the general public.

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