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Medha Bhagwat, Ph.D. Receives Award for NIH Library Bioinformatics Support Program

Medha Bhagwat, Ph.D. Receives Award for NIH Library Bioinformatics Support Program

On December 4, Dr. Medha Bhagwat, NIH Library Bioinformatics Support Program Coordinator, received the NIH Office of the Director Honor Award "in recognition of outstanding leadership in developing a nationally renowned library-based bioinformatics support program to facilitate NIH intramural scientific advances".

Begun in 2009, the bioinformatics support program was developed to provide NIH researchers with instruction, consultation, and collaboration to aid in understanding human health at the molecular level. The program has now reached over 6,000 participants. In addition to NIH, Dr. Bhagwat has also contributed to programs at academic health sciences centers across the United States through her training of researchers and students at the University of Puerto Rico, the University of North Carolina, the University of Maryland, and the University of North Texas, to name a few.

With Dr. Bhagwat's leadership, the program has evolved significantly over the past four years. Today it provides access to powerful tools to analyze and understand the biological significance of a variety of data. These include commercial software, licensed databases, and three high-throughput computers that are available in the NIH Library for analyzing data. The program is also staffed by Dr. Lynn Young who has over twenty years of experience in the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics.

Other libraries, such as at the University of Florida, consider this program as a model and have sent staff to consult with Dr. Bhagwat and Dr. Young.