The Chief Scientist D. Skouridis at CING: Credit to the Department of Bioinformatics for its expertise and diversity of field of specialization

Recently, the CING Bioinformatics Department (C-BIG) hosted the Chief Scientist for Research, Innovation and Technology and Chairman of Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), Mr. Demetris Skourides, during which the activities of C-BIG were discussed, while having the opportunity to listen to Mr Skourides’ very enlightening advice on the best ways to combine research and innovation.

Prof. George Spyrou, Head of the Department of Bioinformatics at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics (CING), introduced (C-BIG) (  C-BIG is a high-level interdisciplinary team that was established in 2016 to host the European Bioinformatics Research Area Chair in Cyprus with the support of the EU H2020 ERA Chair Grant, BIORISE (Grant Number 669026) with an EU contribution of EUR 2,273,546 for the period 2015-2020, and has since been transformed into a permanent department within the CING.

The Department's mission is to serve as a center of excellence in applied bioinformatics for early diagnosis, effective prognosis and drug discovery, contributing to the vision of precision and personalized medicine. This is achieved through cutting-edge bioinformatics research, postgraduate training and the ongoing development of bioinformatics methods and tools, either as services or as publicly available applications.

The Department's research focuses on advanced computational diagnostics and therapeutics. We have a strong interest in applying advanced computational methods such as network analysis, AI-ready data transformations and machine learning/deep learning model applications, multi-source data integration and modelling to biomedical problems to address issues of complexity, find hidden criticalities, monitor the systemic changes and ultimately approach with computational methods the most challenging questions related to human health, such as understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying disease and proposing candidate biomarkers/new or repurposed drugs for specific diseases or disease stages. 

Currently, C-BIG participates in a number of very important EU and nationally funded programs such as: ELIXIR STEERS (HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01), COMFORTAGE, (HORIZON-HLTH-2023-STAYHLTH-01-01 — The Silver Deal - Person-centred health and care in European regions), Xt-HER: Extended EHR@EU Data Space for Primary Use (EU4H-2022-JA-09), ELMUMY (HORIZON-MISS-2021-CANCER-02-03), DiGiNN : Cyprus DIGital INNovation Hub (DIGITAL-2021-EDIH-INITIAL-01) and C-SpaRC: Cyprus Space Research and Innovation Centre Restart 2016-2020 (STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURES).

The Chief Scientist commended the expertise and diversity of field of specialization in the Bioinformatics team and emphasized the importance of fostering the development of a multi-disciplinary scientific teams highlighting the rate of change in value creation with the emergence of AI.  Mr Skourides showcased how the multi-disciplinary team integration creates powerful synergies helping the Department of Bioinformatics team to benefit from data monetization strategies.  Mr Skourides also stressed the need for scientists to work as cohesive teams integrating the data across various customer personas creating new customer journeys for citizens thus enabling the formation of a 360-degree perspective on patient care, which includes pre-treatment, treatment, and post-treatment phases.  The advances in computing power complemented by the rapid growth of artificial intelligence, and machine learning capabilities hosted in cloud providers enables scientists to pursue research and development at a faster pace.  This can be a game changer for the Bioinformatics Department. 



28 May 2024

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