Stanford rides Big Data wave in medical research

Stanford University houses some of the top minds studying Big Data in biomedicine, and this summer's issue of Stanford Medicine spotlights their cutting-edge use of monstrous amounts of biological data to advance new treatments. It's worth taking a half hour or more to peruse.

The articles home in on vast possibilities for harnessing massive amounts of clinical and genomic data, including ways to empower personalized care for patients and find new uses for old drugs. Drug research is notoriously slow and riddled with failures, and the work under way at Stanford could streamline the development of treatments. Stanford has produced some of the poster children of the Digital Age as well as biotech pioneers, and computer-savvy researchers and medical experts appear to intersect prodigiously at the university to tackle Big Data projects.

Take Michael Snyder, chair of Stanford's genetics department, who is doing pioneering work on an integrative personal genomics profile that captures fine molecular details about a person to guide treatments and signal risk factors for disease. Another article profiles Dr. Atul Butte (a 2012 Fierce Biotech Techie), an expert in mining huge databases for gems of biological knowledge.

- check out the entire issue

Special Report: Dr. Atul Butte - Fierce's Top 10 Biotech Techies