Dr. Guda brings cross-disciplinary skills to new research role

by John Keenan, UNMC public relations | January 11, 2016

Image with caption: Babu Guda, Ph.D.

Babu Guda, Ph.D.

Babu Guda, Ph.D., has been named UNMC's first chief bioinformatics and research computing officer.

In his new role, Dr. Guda will help vice chancellor for research, Jennifer Larsen, M.D., identify and prioritize the development of new research infrastructure, processes, tools, and policies relative to research.

He also will assist in the recruitment of new biomedical informatics faculty, grow new expertise in bioinformatics with the biomedical informatics graduate program, and help develop more communication and collaborations between the campuses regarding available biomedical informatics expertise.

"Dr. Guda has been the primary driver of the growth of bioinformatics research support since he was recruited to UNMC in 2010," Dr. Larsen said. "He has grown the expertise and infrastructure available and we look forward to his ongoing leadership to continue to move our expertise in this critical area forward."

Dr. Guda is an associate professor in the UNMC Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy, and director of the bioinformatics and systems biology core, which he developed when he was recruited to UNMC.

He said he sees a lot of opportunity in the new position, including the creation of a Center for Biomedical Informatics.

"Biomedical informatics is evolving at the crossroads of various fields, such as bioinformatics, computational biology, clinical or medical informatics, image informatics, public health informatics and so on," Dr. Guda said. "So there are a lot of distinct informatics groups on campus, and in this role, I'll be working with these different groups to try to bring them under one umbrella. So the first step will be to galvanize the research groups, not only at UNMC but also at UNO."

He hopes to work with UNO to submit a proposal to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents later this year for the creation of the new center.

"No matter what kind of informatics you do, all of us access the same kind of infrastructure, same kind of resources -- hardware, software, storage, statistical and data mining tools and personnel (programmers)," Dr. Guda said. "Right now, we don't have any coordination, and that can lead to ineffective use of resources."

The new center would facilitate effective utilization of these resources and promote cross-disciplinary research collaborations and training opportunities in biomedical informatics.

Currently, Dr. Guda leads the bioinformatics cores of the NIH-funded Institutional Development Award Program (IDeA) Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) and the cancer center support grants. He has developed a number of bioinformatics resources on campus, in addition to serving as the bioinformatics track director of UNMC's Biomedical Informatics graduate program.

His research focus currently is in computational systems biology, cancer genomics and the genomics of microorganisms.

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Dr. G. Subbaiah
January 12, 2016 at 8:39 AM

Congratulations and best wishes. We feel very proud of your achievement. Dr SUBBAIAH GAZULA

Ashish Sharma
January 11, 2016 at 3:12 PM

Congratulations!

Soma Kodali
January 11, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Congratulations Dr. Guda

NWM
January 11, 2016 at 9:20 AM

CONGRATULATIONS!

Carmen Sirizzotti
January 11, 2016 at 7:45 AM

Congratulations and best wishes !