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Using Science, Technology, and Society Studies Research to Move Genomics Discoveries from Bench to Bedside- Identification of Data Integration and Sociotechnical Issues Arising in Personalized Medicine & Translational Bioinformatics

  • Project Leaders: Ellen Balka
  • Institutions: Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Budget: $216476
  • Program/Competition: Strategic Opportunities Fund
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Status: Closed

Using BC’s genomics research and business sector as the site for applied research, this project aimed to address data integration issues faced when integrating data from multiple sources in the domains of personal medicine and translational informatics.

The team applied concepts from science, technology and society studies (STS) as a means of identifying and addressing issues and challenges which arise with the movement of genomics research from discovery environments (the bench) to the bedside (implementation as part of personalized medicine). This project sought to demonstrate the value of concepts from STS in addressing applied problems facing BC’s genomics researchers and businesses.

It built on BC’s strength in STS, and particularly e-science/ cyberinfrastructure studies, and the strengths of BC’s genomics researchers and entrepreneurs.

The strategic objective of this project was to increase awareness of the critical role to be played by cyberinfrastructures in processing, management and analysis of genomic data, as scientists work to realize the goals of personalized medicine and translational informatics. To this effect, recommendations to address four areas were presented: improving the capacity of pre-clinical labs; improving the capacity of trainees; reducing barriers through changes in financial support and reducing barriers through support for cultural changes and cross-stakeholder collaborations.