Bing Zhang, Ph.D.
Baylor College of Medicine
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|Grant ID: RR160027|
Recruitment of Rising Stars
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
February 17, 2016
Cancerous tumors can be clinically described by their location in the body, size, and stage, and perhaps up to a dozen different attributes. But modern proteomics and genomics mean that nearly a million different attributes can now be extracted and used to characterize each tumor.
This generates enormous amounts of data. To begin to break down and make sense of this vast information store, a bioinformatics specialist, Bing Zhang, has been recruited to Baylor College of Medicine from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine with the help of a Rising Star Award from CPRIT. Having such large amounts of information about each tumor means doctors can begin to make better-informed decisions about patient care. But a main obstacle to using this information effectively is being able to integrate, manage, and interpret such vast volumes of data.
“Now we have tens of thousands of measurements on each tumor,” Zhang says, “and to derive better ways of knowing whether a tumor will recur or not we need to integrate all of these data.” Zhang says he also uses the data to create models to predict how certain tumors will respond to treatment, which can guide doctors’ decisions of how to treat each cancer based on integrated molecular data rather than solely on traditional clinical measurements.