Sharon Settnek


Data Mining and Federated IT Systems Enabling Translational Research Across the Cancer Research Community

A critical factor in translational research is integrating biomedical data across functional domains in a semantically interoperable fashion. The mission of the National Cancer Institute Center for Bioinformatics (NCICB) is to provide biomedical informatics support and integration capabilities to the cancer research community that will enable advanced translational research in cancer biology and medicine. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) works with the NCICB and cancer research community to facilitate translational research by employing a variety of use-case driven techniques including service-oriented architectures, data mining/warehousing, and grid services. Key to the employment of these techniques in a semantically interoperable fashion is NCIís core technology stack, caCORE. caCORE provides the infrastructure for meta data management, terminology services, and biomedical information "objectsĒ implemented in a robust enterprise level architecture.

Techniques for enabling translational research in a semantically interoperable fashion are currently being leveraged on the NCIís cancer Biomedical Informatics Program (caBIG), which aims to connect over 50 cancer centers. caBIG is an informatics infrastructure designed to interconnect the cancer research community via the development and sharing of open source applications, infrastructure, data and standards. caBIG focus areas include clinical trials data management, tissue banks and pathology tools, cancer imaging, and integrative cancer research initiatives which span a variety of genomic, proteomic, and translational research studies. The caBIG network aims to expedite progress in all aspects of cancer research including etiology, prevention, early detection, and treatment. By engineering a collaborative biomedical network, the caBIG effort aims to discover novel diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic approaches that will ultimately improve patient care.

Applications and infrastructure components enabling translational research and connecting the cancer research community in the caBIG program will be presented along with NCICB core infrastructure components that enable semantic interoperability.


Ms. Settnek is Program Manager of Science Applications International Corporation (SAICís) bioinformatics initiatives supporting the National Cancer Institute Center for Bioinformatics (NCICB). Ms. Settnekís projects include the development of service-oriented architectures supporting biomedical data integration; large-scale data repositories supporting microarray studies; genomic-based analysis tools/algorithms; data mining/warehousing techniques facilitating translational research; technologies supporting in vivo cancer imaging; standards based messaging frameworks supporting clinical research; grid computing connecting the cancer research community; and a variety of other applications supporting pre-clinical and clinical research.

Ms. Settnek is also an Assistant Vice President at SAIC and is Deputy Division Manager of SAICís Innovative Informatics Technologies (IIT) Division. Ms. Settnek is an experienced IT manager and has been involved in all aspects of the software development life cycle for a variety of industries including life sciences, defense, and space sciences. Ms. Settnek is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Ms. Settnek has an MBA from the University of Marylandís Smith School of business and a BS in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh.