Bioinformatics has taken another step toward cementing itself in the life sciences mainstream. The latest validation of the importance of informatics comes from the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), which has established a subdivision focused on the field.
AMP has taken an interest in informatics for more than a decade, but this has only just matured into a belief that a dedicated subdivision is needed. The subdivision is tasked with supporting researchers in clinical laboratories as next-generation sequencing (NGS)–and the data sets it generates–becomes a more integral part of their jobs. Clinical laboratories will increasingly have to perform such work to enable clinical trials to stratify patients and help physicians decide on the best course of treatment.
Members of the subdivision will promote good informatics practices, while helping peers who are less familiar with the technology to adapt. “The launch of the informatics subdivision is a major milestone for AMP. It publicly recognizes the importance of informatics to the practice of molecular and genomic pathology,” Dr. Alexis Carter, the chair of the informatics subdivision, said in a statement. More than 10% of AMP members declared an interest in the creation of an informatics subdivision.
The task now is to deliver a program that meets the needs of these members. Education programs, opportunities to volunteer and other initiatives are planned. The overarching goal is to give clinical laboratory researchers the skills they need to turn data from NGS and other tests into useful information.
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