ND-INBRE and Indigenous Trauma and Resilience teams receive $287k NIH award for data science

The principal investigators of the North Dakota IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (ND-INBRE) and Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) for Indigenous Trauma & Resilience Research are pleased to announce that a team of North Dakota researchers has received an NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences supplemental award of $287,000 for data science. The team of Drs. Corey Smith, Melanie Nadeau, Sandeep Singhal, and Cristina Oancea of the Departments of Pathology, Indigenous Health, and Population Health, along with Dr. Adrienne Salentiny of Education Resources, will lead the development of the program. Data science is essential for advancing knowledge of factors that drive disparities using a wide array of data sources and for leveraging information that leads to improved clinical decision making and the public health of tribal communities.

The Data Science program is focused on the recognition that a major contributor to health inequities is the lack of a diverse biomedical research workforce that is technically proficient in data management, computer programming, and analytics, as well as the ability to work effectively on interdisciplinary teams. This skillset in data science is essential for advancing knowledge of factors that drive disparities using a wide array of data sources and for leveraging information that leads to improved clinical decision-making and the public health of tribal communities. Pathway programs that introduce students to computational approaches, role models, access to resources, and career opportunities in data science are needed to address the under-representation of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the biomedical research workforce. Tribal colleges and universities historically have played a pivotal role in preparing students for STEM-related fields that address local workforce needs. However, none of the five tribal college in North Dakota offer courses or specialized training in biomedical or health data science, despite the need for this expertise in tribal health organizations. The virtual IDeA for Data Science Education (IDSE) hosted by the UND SMHS will begin to address this gap in data science education by providing a 10-week training course in the foundations of data science and analytics adapted from the NIH-supported eight-week Virtual Applied Data Science Training Institute (VADSTI) program.

For more information, contact ND-INBRE at 701.777.6376.