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Geisel Announces New Master's Degree in Health Data Science

By Susan Green

Dartmouth's Graduate Program in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences (QBS) is offering a new master's degree with a concentration in health data science beginning in fall 2018. This new degree is part of Dartmouth's innovative interdisciplinary graduate program, which trains doctoral students in bioinformatics, biostatistics, and epidemiology.

With an inaugural class of 12 students, the 15-month program is designed to provide future data scientists interested in health care with a wide range of core skills: exploratory statistics, high performance computing, and statistical modeling along with the ability to communicate the value of this information verbally, visually, and in writing.

"In addition to our strengths in teaching biostatistics, bioinformatics, epidemiology, and computational biology, we are adding training in data visualization, data wrangling, and machine learning," says Todd MacKenzie, PhD, a professor of biomedical data science at Geisel and a co-director of the program.

Data science programs have been blossoming at a rapid pace in tandem with the acceleration of big data collection. The vast increase in medical data generated across a wide variety of platforms is both unstructured and unwieldy. And as big data continues to influence health care, collecting, managing, and analyzing it is crucial to turning it into knowledge capable of transforming medicine.

"Graduates will be able to engage in projects that utilize and combine data from a variety of resources: electronic health records, mobile devices, social networks, internet applications, the genome, and countless other data sources to solve problems in health care and health care delivery at both the individual and community level," MacKenzie adds.

"We are delighted to be able to offer this innovative master's program that will train students for one of the largest growth areas in the country. It builds on the expertise of faculty in the Department of Biomedical Data Science, in the QBS Program at Geisel, and from faculty at Dartmouth College. There is critical need in the workforce for graduates with these skills and we're very excited to train students to fill this gap in our workforce," says Michael Whitfield, PhD, director of the QBS Program and a professor of molecular and systems biology.

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Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College