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NIH Names Dr. Philip E. Bourne First Associate Director for Data Science

Wed, 12/11/2013 - 11:15am
NIH

Courtesy of Scotty BourneNational Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D, announced the selection of Philip E. Bourne, Ph.D., as the first permanent Associate Director for Data Science (ADDS). Dr. Bourne is expected to join the NIH in early 2014.

“Phil will lead an NIH-wide priority initiative to take better advantage of the exponential growth of biomedical research datasets, which is an area of critical importance to biomedical research. The era of ‘Big Data’ has arrived, and it is vital that the NIH play a major role in coordinating access to and analysis of many different data types that make up this revolution in biological information,” said Collins.

Dr. Bourne comes to the NIH from the University of California San Diego, where he is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Industry Alliances of the Office of Research Affairs and a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He also is the Associate Director of the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) Protein Data Bank. Dr. Bourne was trained as a physical chemist and obtained his Ph.D. from The Flinders University in South Australia.

Dr. Bourne’s professional interests focus on relevant biological and educational outcomes derived from computation and scholarly communication. This work involves the use of algorithms, text mining, machine learning, metalanguages, biological databases, and visualization applied to problems in systems pharmacology, evolution, cell signaling, apoptosis, immunology, and scientific dissemination. He has published over 300 papers and five books. One area to which he is extremely committed is to furthering the free dissemination of science through new models of publishing and better integration and subsequent dissemination of data and results.

Collins added, “I also must recognize and thank Dr. Eric Green, who served as the Acting ADDS since I announced the search to fill this new position. His willingness to take on this challenging role in its inception, and to get the ball rolling on the enormous tasks that accompany this high-priority initiative, is sincerely appreciated. Eric is certain to remain a tremendous source of knowledge and support as Phil continues the NIH’s effort to manage ‘Big Data’.”

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.

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