Institute News

With a long and successful career steeped in statistics, the University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute’s Sallie Keller will step into a new post that might well have been tailor made for the nationally recognized research scientist. Keller will join the U.S. Census Bureau as chief scientist and associate director for research and methodology lending her scientific knowledge and expertise to advise the Census Bureau’s programs and continued need to produce high-quality statistical products describing America and for use by decision makers in many roles.

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Many aspects of the research enterprise are rapidly changing to be more open, accessible, and supportive of rapid-response investigations (e.g., understanding COVID-19) and large cross-national research that addresses complex challenges (e.g., supply chain issues). Around the globe, there have been aggressive responses to the need for a unified open research commons (ORC)—an interoperable collection of data and compute resources within both the public and private sectors that is easy to use and accessible to all. Many nations are positioning themselves to be scientifically competitive in the years to come. But the US is falling behind in the accessibility and connectedness of its research computing and data infrastructure, compromising competitiveness and leadership and limiting global science that could benefit from US contributions.

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With a long and successful career steeped in statistics, the University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute’s Sallie Keller will step into a new post that might well have been tailor made for the nationally recognized research scientist. Keller will join the U.S. Census Bureau as chief scientist and associate director for research and methodology lending her scientific knowledge and expertise to advise the Census Bureau’s programs and continued need to produce high-quality statistical products describing America and for use by decision makers in many roles.

Just one metric from the Virginia Department of Health and the University of Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute shows every health district in the Commonwealth is in the middle of a "growth" or "surge" trajectory. This means there is no longer an area in Virginia, from a health district standpoint, where the trajectory is considered "declining."

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The Bacterial and Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center (BV-BRC), a beta website that launched in February, “is one-stop shopping for your bacterial or viral genomic research,” said Ron Kenyon, a senior scientist in the Network Systems Science and Advanced Computing division of UVA’s Biocomplexity Institute.

A research team from the University of Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute was recognized with the UVA Provost’s Office Award for Collaborative Excellence in Public Service. As representatives of the Biocomplexity Institute’s COVID-19 Response Team, Jiangzhuo Chen, Bryan Lewis, and Srini Venkatramanan were recognized for their service to the University, the Commonwealth of Virginia and federal authorities during the pandemic, and which continues today.

Census

An independent team of former census directors and prominent social scientists based at the University of Virginia (UVA) is helping the agency meet their goals, and last week it released a progress report on its 4-year effort. “The Census Bureau is already moving in the right direction, and we’re hoping to help them get there by exploring some of the scientific issues that need to be addressed,” says Sallie Keller, a UVA statistician leading the team along with former Census Director Kenneth Prewitt.

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