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2014 Archived Content

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Third Annual

Bioinformatics for Big Data

How Applications of Big Data will Drive Research Forward

February 10-12, 2014 | Moscone North Convention Center | San Francisco, CA


In March 2012, the Obama Administration launched a $200 million "Big Data Research and Development Initiative," which aims to improve the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data. The initiative will help to transform the use of big data in various sectors including scientific discovery and biomedical research. Big data in medical research is transforming research from hypothesis-driven to data-driven. Efficient analysis and interpretation of big medical data can open up new avenues to explore, new questions to ask, and new ways to answer, leading to better understanding of diseases and development of better and personalized diagnostics and therapeutics. This conference aims to provide the latest developments and applications of big data in scientific discovery and biomedical research. With the ever-increasing volume of information generated for curing or treating diseases and cancers, bioinformatics technologies, tools and techniques play a critical role in turning data into meaningful biological applications and knowledge.

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Monday, February 10

10:30 am Conference Program Registration


11:50 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Michelle Munson, President & CEO, Aspera


12:00 pm Customized Care in Moving Systems and Bioinformatics towards Personalized Medicine

Richard Kellner, Co-founder and CEO, Genome Health Solutions


Crohnology: The Patient-powered Research Network

Sean Ahrens, Co-Founder, Crohnology

Crohnology enables any patient to contribute to research for their condition and cure. Crohnology now serves over 4,400 patients with Crohn’s & Colitis, and is partnered with top non-profits and industry researchers to advance treatments and the cure. Crohnology is enabling the crowd-running of clinical studies, powered by the most underutilized resource in medicine, patients themselves, and started by myself, a patient with Crohn’s since age 12. This talk shares data collection methods, tools, and application. 

1:00 Session Break

1:15 Luncheon Presentation I: Building and Linking Disease and Drug Target Profiles Using Semantic Search Technologies 

Maria Shkrob, Ph.D.,Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, Elsevier

Researchers face a growing challenge in managing vast quantities of unstructured data to find relevant information that can guide their research. A new semantic search engine that incorporates text-mining capability along with customizable dictionaries and taxonomies rapidly finds facts and provides summary tables from multiple sources, including scientific abstracts and full-texts, grant applications, and in-house documents. This ability to accurately retrieve and summarize information significantly increases researcher productivity compared to traditional keyword search.

1:45 Luncheon Presentation II (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)  

2:15 Session Break


2:30 Chairperson’s Remarks

Michael Liebman, Ph.D., Managing Director, Strategic Medicine, Inc.

This session brings together thought leaders from academia, government, healthcare and biopharma to discuss current big data strategies and why there is too much emphasis on genomic data collection as a driver for big data. Speakers will give a presentation and then convene for a panel discussion.

2:35 Understanding the Needs of a Healthcare System in Data Acquisition and Data Analysis

Hal Wolf, Senior Vice President (ret), COO, Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente

3:05 Prioritization of Big Data for Pharmaceutical Development: What and Why

Charlie Barr, M.D., Ph.D., Group Medical Director and Head, Evidence Science and Innovation, Genentech Corp.

3:35 Applying Big Data in the Clinic: What Data Do We Need and How Would We Use It?

Michael Liebman, Ph.D., Managing Director, Strategic Medicine, Inc.

Sabrina Molinaro, Ph.D., Institute for Clinical Physiology, National Research Council, Italy

4:05 Accelerating Research by Enabling Big Data in the Cloud

Michelle Munson, President & CEO, Aspera

Discover the technologies that enable big data to be securely transported, shared and stored in the cloud. Attendees will learn from the experiences of organizations that deployed cloud-based research platforms based on high-speed data transport, and the benefits they’ve achieved in terms of increased collaboration, accelerated research and reduced costs.

4:35 Fusion Genes Uncovered Bioinformatics in Action

Kalle Ojala, Chief Product Officer, MediSapiens Ltd.

Gene fusion are known to be pivotal events in cancer and important drug development targets. A recent example of this is Crizotinib targeting the EML4-ALK fusion in non-small cell lung cancer. We have developed a new bioinformatic tool that allows efficient identification of fusion genes in large RNA sequencing datasets. Our tool allows for the efficient analysis of impact of the gene fusion as well its clinical significance.

4:50 Refreshment Break and Transition to Plenary Keynote

5:00 Plenary Keynote Session (Click Here For More Details) 

6:15 Grand Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

7:45 Close of Day

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Download Brochure