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Allen Institute for Brain Science names Chinh Dang Chief Technology Officer

Promotion recognizes Chinh Dang's strong leadership in translating large-scale laboratory science into foundational online public resources that fuel brain research worldwide

November 22, 2011 | Download PDF

The Allen Institute for Brain Science announced today the promotion of Chinh Dang to the newly created position of Chief Technology Officer. Dang has led the design, development and support of the Institute's open online Allen Brain Atlas resources, as well as the internal information systems for data management and high-throughput data processing and storage. As part of the organization's executive team, she will drive the technology vision and strategy as the Allen Institute broadens and diversifies the scope of its scientific initiatives.

"Chinh's talent, vision and dedication as a senior leader of the organization have been essential to our success fueling progress in brain research over the years," said Allan Jones, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. "She has effectively managed an ever-growing technology team, building a dynamic portfolio of online public resources that are actively used throughout the global scientific community. In anticipation of an increase in the scope and responsibility of the technology group as we continue to expand our scientific programs, I am thrilled to have Chinh at the helm."

Dang joined the Allen Institute team in 2004, initially as Data Pipeline Manager to build a high-throughput data management system to track and funnel large volumes of laboratory data into the Institute's first online public resource, the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, the scope of which has been compared to the Human Genome Project. As the Institute has grown and diversified, she has assumed increasing responsibility, overseeing the vision and execution of the data management, hardware and web application development strategies integral to the Allen Institute's success as a provider of foundational online public resources for the global brain research community.

Under Dang's leadership, the Allen Institute has completed 23 public data and web tools releases—all on time—significantly expanding its portfolio of Allen Brain Atlas resources from one to many and incorporating several different data types, data mining tools and user interfaces. In addition, she has moved the Institute's resource efforts beyond merely making the data publicly available. As it has expanded its resource offerings, the Institute has also engineered avenues for programmatic access to its data stores and established a user support and training program to further enhance the usefulness of the resources for end-users.

Prior to joining the Allen Institute, Dang worked in the field of drug discovery and bioinformatics software, where she developed and implemented data management systems. She holds a B.A. in biology from the University of Denver and a M.S. in information systems from the University of Colorado.

Since the completion of its first project, the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, in 2006, the Allen Institute has expanded its collection of online public resources. All openly available via the Allen Brain Atlas data portal (www.brain-map.org), these resources now also include atlases of the mouse spinal cord, developing mouse brain and human brain, providing scientists with detailed maps integrating genomic and anatomic information. These resources are actively used by scientists and research programs around the globe and receive approximately 45,000 visits each month. Looking ahead, the Institute plans to build on these resources with future work in the direction of systems biology, neural circuitry and information coding in the brain.

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