The University of Hyderabad (UoH), well known for its cutting-edge research in various domains of modern biology, including infectious diseases, cancers, computational biology etc. today signed an MoU with Omics Data Automation Pvt Ltd (ODA). By signing this MoU, UoH forays, for the first time, into clinical informatics and personalized medicine by judiciously making use of the domain expertise available with Omics Data Automation (ODA), India Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of ODA, Inc, USA. The MoU was signed by Dr. Devesh Nigam, Registrar, UoH and Mr. Ganapati Srinivasa, Director, ODA in the presence of Prof. B J Rao, Vice Chancellor, UoH; Prof. N Siva Kumar, Dean, School of Life Sciences; Prof. Ghanshyam Krishna, Director, Institution of Eminence (IoE); Prof. B Shamanna, School of Medical Sciences; Prof. HA Nagarajaram, Department of Systems & Computational Biology; Mr. Ramanathan Radhakrishnan, Director, ODA and Dr. Madhusudan V Atre, Principal Technical Architect, ODA.

Given the size and complexity of the Indian population owing to its ethnic diversity, diverse cultures and conserved gene pools within communities, the Indian medical records offer a gold mine for clinical informaticians. In this respect, this MoU offers an immeasurable opportunity for UoH because ODA has well-demonstrated expertise and capabilities in data analytics involving big data and has developed a robust informatics technology platform that rapidly and reliably aggregates and analyzes patients’ data such as genome sequences, proteomes, metabolic profiles, radiological scans, clinical information, and prescriptions. This expertise of ODA is demonstrated by its successful academic collaborations, which include the University of California at Los Angeles and San Francisco, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Providence Cancer Institute, Oregon, USA.

It is envisaged that through this MoU, UoH and ODA seek multi-level and multi-pronged collaborations: They are: a) exchange of researchers and students via in-bound and out-bound sabbaticals, b) preparation and submission of collaborative research projects to the funding agencies within India and abroad, c) setting up a Clinical Informatics Centre within the UoH with necessary hardware and software and d) exploring collaboration opportunities with the hospitals and diagnostics centers.

ODA’s understanding of Causal AI and its application to Precision Medicine, especially with respect to Causal modelling and Causal inferencing, will be leveraged to build a strong understanding of the nature of critical diseases in India. It is expected that this domain expertise of ODA would enable UoH life science programs to reach new heights wherein the researchers would be able to undertake focused research activities leading to a better understanding of population-specific disease drivers that are perhaps endemic to the Indian population and hence, the development of personalized medicines for the Indian population. This collaboration truly demonstrates the initiatives for translation research for the university.

While Prof. HA Nagarajaram, Department of Systems & Computational Biology, School of Life Sciences is the coordinator from UoH; Mr. Ganapati Srinivasa will be the coordinator from ODA.