Scientists at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI), part of Sinai Health are joining forces with the University of Toronto to create a new centre for fuelling discoveries in data science.

The Data Sciences Institute, or DSI, officially launched today at the University of Toronto. It brings together researchers from various disciplines across Sinai Health, the University of Toronto, the University Health Network and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

Dr. Rayjean Hung, senior investigator at the LTRI and associate director of Population Health at Sinai Health, has been appointed the key role of representing Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) institutes in the governance and organization of this new initiative.

“This is an important and timely initiative for many different fields, in particular for biomedical research where large amount of data and innovative analytics have been emerging across disciplines,” said Hung. “DSI is well positioned to help accelerate inter-disciplinary collaborations and providing ample training opportunities for the next generation.”

The DSI is made up of a community of faculty members, researchers, staff and students spanning fields and faculties pursuing exciting research that addresses a variety of global challenges.

Data science – the science of collecting, manipulating, storing, visualizing, learning from and extracting useful information from data – is fast becoming a key tool in the development of solutions designed to address society’s most pressing challenges and opportunities.

From health care, economics and astrophysics to climate change, digital humanities and the promise of smart cities, the world is in the midst of a data revolution. Complex, massive and unique data sets are being generated and analyzed across a broad spectrum of disciplines at an unprecedented rate.

“By connecting data science researchers, data and computational platforms, the DSI will both advance research and nurture the next generation of data- and computationally-focused researchers,” said Lisa Strug, academic director of the DSI and a professor in the departments of computer science and statistical sciences at the University of Toronto.

The establishment of the DSI enables researchers across Sinai Health to mobilize cross-disciplinary data science research and support a research network where members can learn from each other and foster the development of new methodologies. They also have access to more than $10 million in grant funding and research supports.