AllerGen’s Scientific Director talks about ‘big data’

big_ideas_better_cities_mcmaster_logo“Imagine a crystal ball into early life, from the womb to 100 days after birth: imagine knowing how to set in motion a path to healthy living in families and communities. At McMaster we are creating this crystal ball through ‘big data’.”

Dr. Judah Denburg, Scientific Director and CEO of AllerGen, elaborated on this idea to the crowd gathered for an evening of McMaster Soapbox Talks on the theme of “Big Ideas, Better Communities: Health Innovation through Big Data” on November 2, 2015.

Within the constraints of a 90-second time limit, Dr. Denburg spoke in particular of AllerGen’s Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study birth cohort as a source of such future-revealing big data: “CHILD has gathered over a million datasets and samples to understand how… nature and nurture predict the development of allergies, asthma and other chronic diseases.”

“Peering into the crystal ball in early life is an opportunity to make real difference for all of life through ‘big data,’” he concluded.

The event was part of 'Big Ideas, Better Cities', a year-long series showcasing how McMaster research can help cities respond to 21st century challenges.