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UA Cancer Center Expands Bioinformatics Collaboration

Megha Padi, PhD
University of Arizona
(Megha Padi, PhD / Univ. of Arizona Cancer Center)

One researcher at the University of Arizona is using the science of bioinformatics to better treat cancer patients.

The increased use of genetic sequencing to determine causes of cancer is generating a lot of data. Bioinformatics uses computers to make sense of it.

Megha Padi, a computational biologist, has brought her expertise in that field to the university.  

She said bioinformatics is kind of like using a web browser to access information, “and to find the right piece of information that will actually tell you how disease develops.”  

One of the challenges in treating cancer is that no single patient or cancer is the same as another.  

Padi said, “So we’re actually developing tools in my research group to figure out what’s the difference between how males and females or how different people respond to different drugs or manifest diseases so that we can really be more targeted about how we can address these problems.”  

She added that data science is used to build social networks for instance, but it’s an even greater tool for treating people in the real world.

Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.