The NIH has awarded Pitt an $11 million grant to lead a Big Data to Knowledge Center of Excellence

“The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Pittsburgh an $11 million, four-year grant to lead a Big Data to Knowledge Center of Excellence, an initiative that will help scientists capitalize more fully on large amounts of available data and to make data science a more prominent component of biomedical research.”

The Center for Causal Modeling and Discovery will be addressing the challenges of Big Data in biomedicine. This center is a collaboration of researchers at Pitt, CMU, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and Yale University, and will develop and disseminate tools that can find causal links in very large and complex biomedical data.

Dr. Cooper said, “Our goal is to make it much easier for researchers to analyze big data to discover causal relationships in biomedicine.”

The three Principal Investigators of this grant are CPCB faculty - Dr. Gregory CooperDr. Ivet Bahar, and Dr. Jeremy Berg.

“The good news is that we have so much data. But the bad news is that we have so much data,” Dr. Berg said. “Our challenge is to find strategies that enable us to sort through all this collected information efficiently and effectively to find meaningful relationships that lead us to new insights in health and disease.”

Dr. Bahar said, “The center also will be a training ground for the next generation of data scientists who will advance and accelerate the development and broader use of Big Data science models and methods. We will create new educational materials as well as workshops and online tutorials to facilitate the use of causal modeling and discovery algorithms by the broader scientific community and to enable efficient translation of knowledge between basic biological and applied biomedical sciences.”

“As part of a national consortium, this Center of Excellence will put Pitt on the map as a home of Big Data science,” said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine.

CPCB Faculty involved in this grant include:

Principal Investigators: Ivet BaharJeremy Berg, Gregory Cooper

Co- Investigator and Leader of Lung DBP: Takis Benos

Other Co-Investigators:
Joseph Ayoob
Chakra Chennubhotla
Panos Chrysanthis
Nathan Clark
Xia Jiang
Alexandros Labrinidis
Xinghua Lu


Grant Abstract 


UPMC/University of Pittsburgh. Schools of the Health Sciences. Pitt Gets $11 Million from NIH to Lead Center of Excellence in National Big Data Research Consortium. Media Relations. UPMC, 9 Oct. 2014. Web. <>.