Dr. Kocher joined Mayo Clinic in 2005 to establish and oversee the activity of the Bioinformatics Core (BIC) within the Department of Health Sciences Research (HSR). The BIC provides analytical support to investigators in the area of genomics, proteomics and metabolomics. As part of its collaborative activity, the core implements and maintains the bioinformatics infrastructure to enable the processing of various high-throughput genomics data including data produced by the emerging Next Generation Sequencing technologies. Every year, the BIC supports the research efforts of more than 100 investigators at Mayo Clinic. In 2006, the BIC became a Cancer Center Shared Resource and rated "outstanding" by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) review panel.
In 2008, Dr. Kocher became chair of the newly created Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics (BSI) that assembles more then 280 experts in biostatistics, bioinformatics and clinical informatics. The division was aligned into four sections that oversee the collaborative activities around research focus, disease expertise and collaborative grant programs. To enhance effectiveness in delivering services a first of its kind research focused Project Management Office was developed. To obtain greater standing and competitive edge in services delivered across BSI the Data Management Services unit was developed. Ensuring the highest quality and efficiency of its collaborative services, BSI also spearheaded the implementation of a Quality Management System embedded into all processes of the division.
Dr. Kocher's current research interests are in the areas of computational biology and computational chemistry. His program focuses on applied research and development in bioinformatics. He is the principal investigator on several informatics projects including the Biological Oriented Repository Architecture (BORA) system designed to integrate multiple genomics data to enable integrative analysis. This system will serve as a foundation for the simulation and modeling of biological systems. The BORA system includes several analytical components that are the focus of individual research efforts namely: the development of analytical workflow for the processing of raw high-throughput genomics data (involving data normalization, imputation, summarization), the effective storage and archival of summarized genomics data, the annotation of these data and their mapping to pathways and networks and finally the development of analytical methods for biomarker discovery, mechanistic studies and systems modeling. Although currently focused on supporting research activities, the BORA system is also designed to support various analytical and clinical reporting activities.
In addition to bioinformatics, Dr. Kocher's research agenda includes drug design projects focused on the discovery of novel viral inhibitors and the modeling of physico-chemical properties of drug-like molecules.
See my publications
- Health Sciences Research
- Associate Professor of Medical Informatics
- PhD - in Chemical Science Université Libre de Bruxelles
- Fellow - (Biotech.) from the European Community
- MS - in Informatics & Theoretical Chemistry Université Louis Pasteur