Curse or Cure: Big Data in Health

Roland Eils (DKFZ & University of Heidelberg)

Recent developments in DNA sequencing technology now enable human whole-genome sequencing  for less than €1,000 facilitating applications in cancer research and care. These cost reductions have spurred initiatives such as the International Cancer Genome Consortium to pursue sequencing and analysis of large numbers of patient genomes. Hundreds of thousands of patient genomes will become sequenced in the next few years. Thus, an unprecedentedly rich set of “big data” will emerge in cancer and other diseases with the promise to improve patient stratification and diagnostics towards personalized medicine. I will discuss in my presentation our ongoing effort to bring next generation sequencing into clinical practice at the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg and how we address ethical, legal and privacy issues in this process.

About Roland Eils
Roland Eils is trained as a Mathematician and Computer Scientist. He is professor of Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics at the University of Heidelberg, where he co-founded and directs Bioquant, Heidelberg’s centre for Quantitative Biology. At the German Cancer Research Center he directs the Theoretical Bioinformatics Division.

About DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center)
DKFZ is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany. In over 90 divisions and research groups, more than 2,700 employees, of which more than 1,200 are scientists, are investigating the mechanisms of cancer, are identifying cancer risk factors and are trying to find strategies to prevent people from getting cancer.They are developing novel approaches to make tumor diagnosis more precise and treatment of cancer patients more successful. More information here.