Laboratory of Applied Biomedical Informatics Approved at WKU
A new laboratory at Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU) in Wenzhou, China will advance the rapidly developing field of biomedical informatics and take an interdisciplinary approach to addressing human health problems.
The lab is under the direction of WKU Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Eric Yang, M.D., Ph.D., an expert in molecular and cell biology. Eighteen leading global experts in the fields of bioinformatics, basic medicine and applied science will work together to extract and analyze biological information from data and seek ways to advance drug therapies for a host of diseases, among other goals.
“Using technology and scientific research to address human health problems supports the research focus of WKU and Kean University,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “WKU has expanded significantly since it first opened 10 years ago, and we look forward to the University continuing to grow, particularly as a research institution.”
The lab, called CAMP, was approved and funded by the city of Wenzhou in September. Yang said planning for construction of the laboratory began two years ago.
“The increased investment in scientific research, especially the completion of a comprehensive laboratory building and investment in scientific research equipment, played an important role in the establishment of the laboratory,” he said. “Since there is no key laboratory in the field of applied biomedical informatics in Wenzhou, the laboratory at WKU will fill the gap in this field and play a significant role in the development of applied biomedicine and bioinformatics in Wenzhou.”
Based on their expertise scientists at the lab will pursue research in four directions: research and development of molecular drugs; research and development of drug delivery carriers; research on the impacts of microbial functional groups on human health; and the joint application of bioinformatics and multiomics technology, an integrated approach that combines multiple data sets to answer key scientific questions.
Research conducted at the lab will include the pursuit of drugs that identify new targets and biomarkers of cancer and other diseases; development and modernization of traditional Chinese medicines for use in modern medicine; discovery of new algorithms and analytical methods for big data analysis of medical information; and analysis of genetic data, lifestyles, diets and environmental factors to advance personalized medical treatments.
Yang expects the lab to be a key resource in the province of Zhejiang within two years and offer academic exchanges and technical support for schools and other scientific research institutions.