NCCU Faculty Awarded Funding for Genomic Data Science

Posted October 11, 2023, 9:03AM

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has been awarded $355,000 to help build a community of genomic data scientists committed to addressing health disparities. 

The funding to NCCU is part of a larger award from the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, which designated $5.8 million to create a genomic data science educational hub for early-career researchers at several North Carolina HBCUs.

At NCCU, Siobahn Day Grady, Ph.D., (principal investigator) and Carresse Gerald, Ph.D., (co principal investigator) will lead campus efforts and will hire undergraduate and graduate students to assist.

The hub, to be called the Genomic Research and Data Science Center for Computation and Cloud Computing (GRADS-4C), will train and support researchers from underrepresented groups to learn about and use genomic data science. 

Genomic data science is a rapidly growing field revolutionizing our understanding of human health and disease. By analyzing the genome, researchers can identify genetic factors contributing to disease, develop new diagnostics and treatments and predict an individual's risk of developing certain diseases. 

There is, however, a need for more researchers trained in genomic data science, especially from underrepresented groups. This is partly due to the fact that genomic data science is a relatively new field and few training programs are available. GRADS-4C will address these challenges by training and supporting early-career researchers from underrepresented groups.

GRADS-4C will offer educational programs, including short courses, workshops, and online training modules. It will also provide mentorship and networking opportunities for researchers. 

The genomic data science center will benefit NCCU in several ways:

  • It will help address the need for more researchers trained in genomic data science. Genomic data science is essential for advancing our understanding of human health and disease and developing new diagnostics and treatments.
  • It will help increase the diversity of the genomic data science workforce. Researchers from underrepresented groups may have unique perspectives and insights that can lead to discoveries in the field.
  • It will help build a community of genomic data scientists committed to addressing health disparities. Genomic data science has the potential to be used to develop new interventions that can improve the health of all populations.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) will lead GRADS-4C. NC A&T will work with other North Carolina HBCUs including NCCU, Winston-Salem State University and Shaw University.

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