The Department of Biomedical Data Science

Chair: Michael Whitfield, PhD


The mission of the department of Biomedical Data Science at Geisel School of Medicine is to advance scholarship and education for the quantitative and computational analysis of biomedical and health data and to unite and promote Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics as essential disciplines for the mentoring and academic development of faculty and the training and education of the next generation of data scientists.


The past decade in biomedical research has witnessed a tidal wave of “Big Data” generated from high throughput technologies, electronic medical records, and networked research resources. We are experiencing a revolution in our ability to measure and organize precise data on individuals relating to risk for disease development, its optimal management, and its outcomes. As more quantitative evaluation of individual characteristics becomes possible, there is increased opportunity for larger studies that evaluate the combinations of factors that can predict disease and care. At the same time, the demands of handling volumes of increasingly detailed data the growth in sophistication in statistical and computational modeling, and the increased potential for drawing erroneous conclusions, if cause is not distinguished from association, create enormous challenges in study design, scientific data analysis and interpretation. Data Science has emerged as a new interdisciplinary field to address these challenges. The automated management, retrieval and interpretation of extensive biological, medical and health information require that Data Science involves coordination and integration of the existing disciplines of Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics. The Department of Biomedical Data Science brings together the breadth and depth of faculty expertise in computational and statistical methodologies.