The National Program
for Complex Data Structures
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Project Leader:
Dr. Rafal Kustra (University of Toronto)


Workshop on Statistical Genomics
Fields Institute, September 3-5, 2003


Advances in many areas of Genomics have become the most exciting story in from the biological, life, and health sciences in recent years, and have captured the imagination of the public at large. One of the most interesting technological breakthroughs in genomics has been the miniaturization of classical experimentation techniques in molecular biology. This has led to the ability to conduct massively parallel experiments on the scale of the whole genome. The most widely known examples of such technology are various kinds of microarrays or DNA chips, which can now measure the expression activity of most of the predicted genes in humans. There exist similar high-throughput technologies to detect Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP chips), protein abundance (proteome chips), RNA activity, protein-protein interaction systems, and others.

For the first time in history, biologists are facing huge volumes of noisy data. The challenge of analyzing this data has been described as the biggest bottleneck in modern biology. Huge dimensionality and small sample size creates a challenge throughout an experiment, from the design, visualization and exploratory phases, to the analysis itself. This project will coordinate a variety of such studies, will allow clinical researchers and statisticians to bring both sets of expertise to bear on these problems, and will train the highly qualified personnel demanded by statistical genomics.

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