Biomedical informatics Big Data Science

Call for proposals: “Big data as a bridge between clinical research and basic science”
The Lorry I. Lokey Center for Life Sciences and Engineering (LS&E) is pleased to announce seed grants for interdisciplinary research bridging basic science with clinical big-data.
The application of data science approaches to clinical data, clinical samples, and medical information and knowledge is promising to vastly accelerate the pace of biomedical research. Crossing millions of electronic patient records with genomics data of patients and pathogens and high content measurements from en masse clinical sampling can allow testing basic science hypotheses directly in the clinical settings and as well as generating new hypotheses that traverse from basic research to human health. Such inherently interdisciplinary approaches require connections across biology, medicine, computer science and engineering with ties to clinicians and health services. Indeed, leveraging the strengths of the Technion in these diverse disciplines will help position its leadership in this emerging field of big-data biomedical informatics.
With the goal of fostering a community in biomedical informatics and creating collaborations across basic science and the clinic, we invite applications for collaborative research projects in this emerging field. Application is open to Technion researchers from all faculties and with support of $40K to $100K annually for 1-2 year projects. We specifically seek applications that combine basic science hypotheses, or novel algorithmic approaches with analysis of clinical records or with measurements derived from en masse clinical sampling. Example of projects include, but not limited to, applications of machine learning approaches to clinical or medical data, applications of computer vision to clinical images, experimentation and measurements applied directly to clinical samples, or testing for associations between clinical presentations and environmental and genetic variability.
Applications are open for collaborations with clinicians across the health system in Israel. To help facilitate collaborations between Technion researchers and clinicians, the Technion is finalizing an agreement with Maccabi Health Services, allowing researchers from the Technion access to the vast clinical records of Maccabi. Similarly, we have partnered with Rambam Medical Center which has recently inaugurated the “Virtual Research Room” – a computer system that facilitate basic science collaborations.
A lecture, open to all interested PIs, to help navigate these healthcare databases and understand the scope of knowledge, expertise and data in the Israeli healthcare institutions and the potential for collaborations will be held on December 4, 2017 at 2pm in Emerson 4-17.

These seed grants are funded by a generous gift from Yad – Hanadiv within a general scope of developing and supporting biomedical informatics nationwide. The pilot at the Technion will help in assessing the value and potential of biomedical informatics projects and the benefits and difficulties of promoting cross-discipline collaborations from basic research to clinical services.
Funding amount and duration of projects
Project funds can range from $40K to $100K per year. Project’s duration is 1-2 years.
Eligibility Criteria

  •  Project must connect basic research and/or algorithmic applications with clinical data and/or clinical samples. Applications should target important biomedical question.
  •  PI must be a full-time faculty member at the Technion. Co-PIs are allowed with preference of bridging across disciplines.
  • The proposal must represent a collaboration with physicians, clinicians, or staff at one of the Israeli HMOs or hospitals.

How to apply?
Applications must be submitted by email to

  • A complete application must contain a description of the research plan and the relevant expertise of participating members. (please attach updated CV).
  • Proposals should include abstract, problem statement, description of the biomedical data / samples, description of the proposed work, expected results, references and budget. Proposals are limited to 2-pages (not including references and budget).

Important Dates:

Call for Proposals: October 1, 2017
Intent to apply: November 10, 2017 please fill in the form

Introductory lecture for interested PIs on the scope of the proposal and availability of clinical data / samples: December 4, 2017 at 2pm in Emerson 4-17.

Application Deadline: January 31, 2018
Announcement of Awards: March 15, 2018
Project Start/Funding Date: April 1, 2018


Budget and period:
Budget can include allocation for: student scholarships, postdoc salaries, equipment, perishables, computers and software as well as fees for clinical services (samples, data, etc), and salaries of clinician collaborators.
Available funds:
We anticipate granting a 5-10 projects with a total of $1M.

Review Process:
Each proposal will be reviewed and evaluated considering the following criteria:

  • The extent to which the project represents unique connections of basic science / computer science expertise with clinical data / clinical samples.
  • Focus on an important biomedical problem or tools.
  • The quality of project design from a feasibility standpoint.

For questions / clarifications please contact
Dr. Ofir Tal, the LS&E clinical big data analyst, email:
Shira Sagee, LS&E Administrative Executive, email: