Bioinformatics is a field that is now fundamental to biomedical research. Large-scale genomic and postgenomic data being generated as part of research and clinical process means a series of challenges in biomedical and computational research. In contrast, Biomedical informatics, which encompasses clinical informatics, improves clinical care by integrating the experimental with the clinical. Together, these disciplines are driving change in the practice of medicine, specifically in experimental medicine, delivery of diagnostics, therapeutics, and prognostics. So although researchers have the potential access to large amounts of this kind of data, it’s difficult to ‘action’. Prof Winston Hide recognises that the scientific paradigm is changing from that of a hypothesis driven experiment to one where we look at big datasets and work on them to find data driven insights that emerge from within them.
The Sheffield Genomic Medicine and Bioinformatics team have developed a data-sharing platform so that anonymous data from separate research studies can be shared not only within the Sheffield BRC but throughout UK research networks.
Harnessing the data generated through NIHR-funded research can steer the NHS towards personalised medicine in the future. This will offer patients tailored treatment and management options for conditions that are currently only treated with varying levels of effectiveness and side effects which vary for any one individual.