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University of California Announces Collaboration with Janssen to Expand Data Science Research in Healthcare

New Fellowship Program Facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation to Recruit Data Scientists for High-Impact, Data-Driven Healthcare Research

By Laura Kurtzman

The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), today announced a collaboration with Janssen Research & Development, LLC, part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), to launch a new data science fellowship program that will explore innovative data-driven approaches to improve human health and train the next generation of leaders in the healthcare data sciences. This program will be the first of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area, which already serves as a worldwide hub for the tech and biotech industries.  The collaboration was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

The new Data Science Health Innovation Fellowship Program will be run by the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) at UC Berkeley and the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute (BCHSI) at UCSF, with support from Janssen. Mentors from all three institutions will provide guidance in developing and implementing research projects.

Atul Butte, MD, PhD, director of Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute. 

Outstanding candidates from industry and academic data science are being sought to apply for this prestigious 2-year program. Successful applicants will each propose a research project that maximizes data-driven discovery and innovation in a safe, respectful, ethically sound way, using the vast health datasets and resources now available, along with the technical, clinical and translational expertise offered by the three organizing partners. Exceptional fellows will be chosen based on their data science expertise and their ability to carry out ambitious and collaborative data-intensive research. Each new cohort of fellows will be encouraged to expand the healthcare field with new ideas and cutting-edge research.

“UCSF — as well as the other University of California Health systems — have spent significant resources to deploy the latest electronic health record technologies to improve medical care,” said Atul Butte, Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and director of BCHSI, and Chief Data Scientist for UC Health. “This new fellowship program will bring some of the brightest data scientists to UCSF and UC Berkeley to help us optimize available data and improve the practice of medicine itself."

“UC Berkeley will bring much to bear to this collaboration,” said David Mongeau, executive director of BIDS. “We intend to leverage our long-standing expertise in computer science, engineering, and statistics; our technology innovation; and our leadership in data-driven discovery so that the fellows can achieve real breakthroughs for health and wellbeing.  We are prepared through BIDS to extend our thriving data science community to welcome clinicians and providers within the healthcare system.”

BIDS, at UC Berkeley, is a central hub of data science research and training, facilitating interdisciplinary data-intensive research across a diverse array of disciplines. UCSF’s BCHSI advances the computational health sciences in research, practice and education, with a particular focus on Precision Medicine. Janssen Research & Development engages with collaborators in academia, biotech and pharma to seek medical breakthroughs and find innovative solutions to complex medical challenges. As a combined effort, this new program is being designed to leverage the strengths of all three organizations in support of new talent and expanding the field of data-driven healthcare research.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story contained several editorial and formatting errors, which have been corrected in this post.

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes UCSF Health, which comprises three top-ranked hospitals, as well as affiliations throughout the Bay Area. 

About UC Berkeley: The University of California, Berkeley is a premier public university committed to excellence in teaching and research, with a distinguished record of world-class scholarship, innovation and public service.