Advancing Omics Data Analysis: A Call for Participation by a Statistician in the Field

Statisticians undoubtedly play a significant role in data science. Omics data, which has been defined as “the collective technologies used to explore the roles, relationships, and actions of the various types of molecules that make up the cells of an organism,” including genomics, is an integral component of data science. This article makes a call for greater participation of statisticians in this important area and highlights some recent research by two women statisticians who were speakers at the Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 20–22, 2016.

Statistical models and methods are necessary for all types of scientific research involving data. At present, there is a huge demand for statisticians in the area of omics research. Generalized medicine is changing to “personalized medicine.” Achieving the goals of personalized medicine requires dealing with the analysis of so-called omics data (high-dimensional and Big Data of patients’ molecular profiles). It helps to identify the disease status and determine the appropriate therapeutic intervention strategy custom-made for an individual.

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