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Through the Accelerate Programme, the DSC has awarded funding for six proposals at the Faculty of Science. Within the Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS), this is to fund data scientists that will support data-driven research in the field of life sciences.

Two proposals were granted at SILS to establish a strong connection with the Data Science Centre (DSC). The data scientists involved will be Dr Frans van der Kloet and Dr Marc Galland.

Data in the life sciences is often highly complex because of highly heterogeneous backgrounds, or limited availability of samples due to experimental challenges. Dr van der Kloet has a strong background in data analysis in life sciences and has a keen interest in technological and computational development. In his role as data scientist, Dr van der Kloet will:

  1. Offer support in the analysis and processing of complex multivariate and high dimensional life science data.
  2. Invest in a better understanding of Deep-Learning models, hopefully leading to discoveries of new biological mechanisms in which the behaviour of variables is not necessarily linear.
  3. Continue to support projects currently running in the institute, such as those linked to the Research Priority Area Systems Biology. Next to that, invest in new method development to enhance the acquisition of new projects and funding.

Dr Marc Galland is currently involved in the local Science Park Study Group, set up to stimulate building a community of computational biologists and bioinformaticians. With the opportunity from the DSC, Dr Galland will establish a bridge between the central DSC and the local activities of the Science Park Study Group. Specifically, Dr Galland will:

  1. Contribute to the implementation of Machine Learning approaches to solve specific biological research questions. In particular, to select candidate genes or metabolites and relate them to biological phenotypes of interest.
  2. Organize statistical “walk-in hours” to provide assistance on statistics and data analysis questions from research projects in SILS.
  3. Participate in both initial education (Bachelor, Master) and vocational training (for staff members and interns) through the Science Park Study Group coordination.

Data Science Centre

The DSC aims to enhance the university’s research by developing, sharing and applying data science methods and technologies. Through its Accelerate Programme, the DSC will support faculties as they pursue data driven research and stimulate the hiring of data scientists and engineers. The programme is not only intended to facilitate knowledge exchange throughout the university, but also incentivise the integration of these roles into existing research activity.