Ex-NCI cancer informatics chief lands at ASU

After NIH advisers found his cancer informatics program lacking in key areas last year, Kenneth Buetow has headed for the desert to take his new job at Arizona State University. The university said Buetow, former informatics chief at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has become director of computational sciences and informatics for ASU's Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative (CASI).

Buetow, a geneticist, previously headed NCI's caBIG program that set out to provide technology tools to advance cancer research. Last March, however, an ad hoc group's review of caBIG concluded that the program had lost its way from its original mission and from the needs of the cancer research community because of "heavy use of contractors to manage the program." That review recommended that the program halt new contracts and projects for one year, and that an audit of finances take place, Bio-IT World reported.

Despite the lackluster performance of caBIG, Buetow's fresh start at ASU will enable him to continue his work on applying IT systems to understand complex biology. In addition to his role in the university's CASI program, Buetow is going to be a full professor in the life sciences department. With the computational sciences and informatics program in CASI, an initiative launched in 2009, Buetow will have a lead role in building computing and modeling strategies for tackling complex issues in healthcare, the environment and national security, according to ASU's release.

"This is an extraordinary time to be in biomedicine," Buetow said in a statement. "New ecosystem models are emerging that use information technology to reweave the very fabric of biomedicine, ushering in a new era of personalized, precision medicine."

- here's the release
- see Bio-IT World's article

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