Understanding vast stores of health data in new ways
New program will help us manage and prevent chronic and infectious diseases
Computer science professor Pourang Irani and his collaborators received $1.65 million in federal funding today to train graduate students to explore and understand vast stores of health data in new ways.
Through this new training program, graduate students will create interactive visualization and automated tools that will make sense of all the data, helping policy-makers to manage chronic diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis, and quickly detect and prevent infectious disease outbreaks such as Zika virus.
Irani’s Visual and Automated Disease Analytics (VADA) program will train upwards of 86 graduate students thanks to funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) CREATE program(Collaborative Research and Training Experience).
“The NSERC CREATE funding is instrumental in developing a unique program of growing importance nationally and internationally. Graduate students will receive an interdisciplinary and cross-institutional training in the field of data analytics and equip them with skills the workforce critically needs,” says Irani, a Canada Research Chair in Ubiquitous Analytics in the Faculty of Science. “The vast stores of data available through health agencies and personal wearable devices, offers an opportunity to develop and apply novel interactive and automated technologies that will advance our understanding of chronic and infectious diseases.”
The VADA program is assembled of an interdisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in working with large and complex data, including U of M professors Julien Arino, Pingzhao Hu, Lisa Lix, and Jason Leboe-McGowan alongside University of Victoria professors Elizabeth Borycki, Karen Kobayashi, Andre Kushniruk, Alex Thomo, and George Tzanetakis, together with Gary van Domeselaar from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory. The VADA Program is housed at the George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences under the direction of Dr. Lisa Lix.