Center for Biomedical Data Sciences planned at OMRF

Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2021 By: The Journal Record Staff Source: The Journal Record

Some $1.9 million in congressional funding for the Center for Biomedical Data Sciences was announced Monday by the office of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe.

“OMRF has been involved in groundbreaking research for the past 75 years,” Inhofe said. “Since its founding, OMRF’s scientists’ discoveries have yielded hundreds of medical advancements used to improve – and even save – the lives of Oklahomans and individuals worldwide. We want to keep this research going, and to expand it I am happy to support dedicated funding to help OMRF establish Oklahoma’s first Center for Biomedical Data Sciences.”

OMRF scientist Dr. Bill Freeman is studying how to prevent age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia. A single experiment in Freeman’s lab can generate a data set equivalent to a spreadsheet of 200 million columns and 3 billion rows.

“To make discoveries from these massive amounts of data, we need extensive computing resources, but also talented mathematicians, computer scientists and biologists,” Freeman said. “The center is an investment in high-performance computing infrastructure as well as in recruiting, training and retaining talented data scientists right here in Oklahoma.”

The center will work with Oklahoma’s regional and research-based universities like Langston University to build partnerships and develop talent. This summer, OMRF welcomed its inaugural class of Langston Biomedical Research Scholars.

The center also will serve as a hub for collaboration among scientists at OMRF and with partner research institutions including LU, Oklahoma City’s VA Medical Center, Oklahoma State University, OU Health and the University of Oklahoma.

Two data scientists will join OMRF in the fall as the center’s first staff members. The foundation is actively recruiting a center director who will lead its strategic development.

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