The second big data in biology and health meeting will explore the opportunities and challenges of big data in biology, health and disease and provide a forum for scientists and clinicians from academia and industry to drive the future development of research in this area.

Individualised medicine based on patient genomes will have an enormous impact on healthcare. With breakthroughs in DNA sequencing technology, the number of sequenced genomes could reach >1 million within 5–10 years. The simultaneous generation and integration of this associated molecular and clinical data will provide an unprecedentedly rich set of ‘big data’ for basic research and translation. Integration of these data will provide new research opportunities, for example, through the identification of novel biomarkers or by enabling the identification of causal relationships in molecular biology through analysing complex datasets, but will also come with significant technical and bioethical challenges.

This year’s meeting will focus on the theoretical foundations for the use of large datasets in healthcare. It will address the opportunities and challenges of ‘big data’ analytics and data mining, there will be sessions on infrastructure, pipelines and data sharing.  We will also explore the applications of big data in basic research and genomics, and the translational opportunities in the clinical setting.

The meeting will bring together a wide group of researchers including computational biologists, computer scientists, epidemiologists and clinicians from academia and industry. Overall this interdisciplinary meeting aims to enable the research community to participate in and help drive the future development of “big data” research, as well as raise further awareness for this new and relevant research direction in the life sciences.

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