Integrating Biological Big Data Research into Student Training and Education



Hong Qin Principal Investigator
Hong Qin, 
University of Tennessee Chattanooga
Donald Adjeroh Co-PI
Donald Adjeroh, 
West Virginia University Research Corporation
mentewab ayalew Co-PI
Mentewab Ayalew, 
Spelman College
Fan Wu Co-PI
Fan Wu, 
Tuskegee University


Amount: $1 Million

The project is a collaborative effort among the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Tuskegee University, Spelman College, and West Virginia University to integrate and automate biological big data into student training and education. Leveraging the team’s expertise in computer science and ecology, the project will offer training workshops on using network models to integrate heterogeneous genomic big data and heterogeneous ecological big data to address life sciences questions. The team will engage faculty and students in developing a protocol to automate field data collection. The team also will prototype automated methods to enhance plant digitization, leveraging the collection of digitized plant images and meta-information at the Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections, as well as ecological datasets in collaboration with the Encyclopedia of Life.


iCompBio REU and Workshop Provides Training to Students and Faculty

  • On the week of July 29-Aug 2, 2019, more than 50 faculty and students from more 21 institutions participated in two R bootcamps at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). The iCompBio REU is supported by NSF Award 1852042,  REU Site: ICompBio – Engaging Undergraduates in Interdisciplinary Computing for Biological Research.
    • The first bootcamp on data wrangling using R was taught by Hong Qin, a computational biologist at UTC. Materials for this R Data Wrangling bootcamp is available at a public GitHub repository
    • The second bootcamp, Electronic Health Records, was taught by Elvena Fong and Zhuqi Miao from the Center for Health Systems Innovation at the Oklahoma State University.
  • For discussion on research and education in bio big data, please join a LinkedIn group at




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