Perdana University launched its Centre for Bioinformatics (PU-CBi) in May 2014 and during the inauguration ceremony, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Perdana University and the Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNET). As part of this tie-up, a “PU-CBi – APBioNET JOINT INAUGURAL LECTURE” was organized on the 12th of November 2014. The President of APBioNET, Prof. Shoba Ranganathan was invited as the Keynote Speaker on “Big Data to Knowledge: Using Bioinformatics to develop personalized health care utilizing –omics data”

The talk was timely as today we are in the throes of a Big Data crisis, where we are accumulating experimental and clinical data from systematic studies, from healthy and diseased patients, and from model organisms at an exponential rate. Data integration, data mining and knowledge discovery are essential in understanding health and disease onset, progression, control and prevention. It is important to collect and analyse data from not only genomics, but also from proteomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, and pharmacogenomics, among other -omics for a “personalized healthcare” or “bench to bedside” experience as promised by the genome project.

The future of public health depends on developing diagnostic tools and assays, using body fluids and accessible tissues for calibrating the transformation from health to disease, addressing diurnal, periodic, environmental and aging factors.

The talk emphasized that bioinformatics is poised to be the key enabling science to bridge the gap between data and better diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, and treatment in a world of “omics” databases and tools.

The talk was well received by the attendees. In order to promote and encourage bioinformatics in Malaysia, Prof. Shoba informed that APBioNet has set aside a special fund (derived from the surplus of InCob 2011, held in KL). The fund will be used for bioinformatics researchers in the country to promote their work at international conferences, journals and meetings.