Interview – William Reinhold, NCI/NIH– Life Science R&D Big Data Leaders Forum 2014
By NextLevel Life Sciences - November 12, 2014

Leading up to NextLevel Pharma’s 2nd Annual Life Science R&D Big Data Leaders Forum, we are conducting email interviews with selected members of our prestigious speaker panel to learn more about their thoughts on this vital issue.

*Opinions below are those only of the individual and do not reflect upon corporate strategy or positioning.

For more information regarding NextLevel Pharma’s 2nd Annual Life Science R&D Big Data Leaders Forum click here.

William Reinhold, Core Manager Genomics and Bioinformatics Group, National Cancer Institute (NCI) / National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NextLevel: What do you think makes the current Big Data challenge in Life Sciences R&D so daunting for pharma and medical device developers?  

William Reinhold: Currently the field has a lack of understanding of how to use and interpret Big Data. A significant problem is that the field is currently dominated by individuals that have no training and little grasp of how to use data in a more systematic fashion. They are holding onto the old ways of doing thing, such as using the traditional one molecular alteration at a time approach to understanding pharmacological outcomes. Conversely, those with statistical or computer science training rarely understand biology or pharmacology adequately to ask questions or interpret results in a meaningful fashion. 

NextLevel: Which trends have you seen on the ways in which data management and analytics are being implemented to ease the Big Data challenge?

WR: There has been some recognition that Big Data needs to be handled, stored and made accessible in a more straightforward manner. However, the progress in this area has been painfully slow, and remains a serious impediment to the field.

NextLevel: How important do you think the big data management and analytics space is right now to enhance R&D efficiencies and break new ground?

WR: I think it is critical. Without significant improvements in these areas, the field will continue to be severely held back. The patient and large cell line studies especially need Big Data to be made easily accessible for analysis and exploration.

NextLevel: What’s the best thing for you about working in Life Sciences R&D and Data Management functions right now?

WR: The potential for improving the lot of patients. Despite the many challenges, there is in my opinion significant area for improvement in patient treatment as well as disease understanding.

NextLevel: Why is this Life Science R&D Big Data Leaders Forum event a good idea for people to attend in your eyes?

WR: This is a breaking field with the potential for moving pharmacological treatment and the understanding of diseases forward, especially in areas such as cancer pharmacology. The ability to at least understand the potential of the field is a requisite for the scientific field going forward.

For more information regarding NextLevel Pharma’s 2nd Annual Life Science R&D Big Data Leaders Forum click here.