Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Eighth Annual

Integrated Informatics Driving Translational Research & Precision Medicine

In the Era of Digital Health

March 7 – 9, 2016 | Moscone North Convention Center | San Francisco, CA
Part of the 23rd International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference


Precision medicine requires all the information needed to precisely tailor therapy for an individual to achieve a better clinical outcome. Critical to the pursuit of precision medicine and digital health is the integration, analysis and interpretation of data from a growing number of disparate sources including clinical trials and imaging, patient, genomic and personal health data. It is critical to integrate data from multiple sources and across organizations and geographies to facilitate the development of improved therapies to treat patients. Here we bring together informatics experts from pharma, biotech, biomedical research, clinical/translational and personal data and patient communities to showcase examples of how informatics is enabling translational, & precision medicine in the era of digital health both in pharma and beyond.

Final Agenda

Monday, March 7

10:30 am Conference Program Registration Open


11:50 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Matt Brauer, Senior Scientist, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Genentech

12:00 pm Clinical, Genomic, and Real-World Healthcare Data for Pharma R&D

Peter A. Covitz, Ph.D., Senior Director, Research and Translational IT, Biogen

This presentation will describe approaches for bridging historically separate data domains to support biopharmaceutical research. As molecular medicine makes its way into the mainstream, it is important to examine the next horizon: integration of real-world healthcare data to predict and validate the effects of new medical diagnostics and interventions. The audience will gain an appreciation for the way clinical, genomic, and real-world healthcare data can be brought together to address questions of biopharmaceutical safety and efficacy.

12:30 Patient-Centric Integrated Informatics

Ingrid Akerblom, Ph.D., Executive Director Analytics, Collaboration and User Experience, Amgen

Today’s competitive R&D landscape demands an integrated view of “patient” to assure drug development is informed by relevant data. Analytics, visualization and search tools matched to user sophistication is critical to driving effective use of information. The presentation will discuss learnings from our journey to deliver value through integrated informatics.

1:00 Session Break

Systems Imagination1:15 Luncheon Presentation I: Computational Epistemology for Pharmaceutical Genomics - New Strategies for Discovering Knowledge Beyond Human Imagination

Spyro Mousses, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President & CSO, Systems Imagination Inc.

1:45 Luncheon Presentation II (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)

2:15 Session Break

2:30 Chairperson’s Remarks

Stu Morton, Ph.D., Research Scientist, LRL, IT Health Informatics, Eli Lilly and Company

2:40 Please Join the Bioinformatics for Big Data track


3:10 Cancer Informatics Strategies to Enable Precision Medicine in Oncology

Sabine Schefzick, Ph.D., Senior Manager, Oncology & West Coast R&D Business Technology, Pfizer

Development of patient enrichment strategies for Oncology clinical trials requires access to human oncogenomics data and in vitro and in vivo model data. This presentation will highlight several applications that have been developed in-house through a close collaboration between Oncology Research and Research IT to support ongoing efforts. OASIS, for example, was designed to analyze correlations among multiple data types as well as visualize and compare alterations across different cancers.

3:40 Medicinal MatchMaker: Finding Your Virtual Twin

Stu Morton, Ph.D., Research Scientist, LRL IT Health Informatics, Eli Lilly and Company

As EHRs continue to integrate health data from multiple sources such as hospitals, clinics and labs, the ability to mine that data for more effective patient outcomes is becoming a reality. The Medicinal MatchMaker provides analytics to aid physicians to decide what treatment has the best chance of success for the patient in their office by using data collected from health outcomes of patients that most resemble their patient.

Perkin Elmer logo small4:10 New Informatics for New Science: Big Data from Imaging to Next-Generation Sequencing

Dave John, Product Manager, Translational Product Management, PerkinElmer

PerkinElmer Signals – a cloud-based data management platform that has been designed with flexible and scalable data models to provide the scalability and agility required to support modern life science research. To illustrate the versatility of the platform, we look at examples in areas as varied as translational medicine and high content screening.

Core Informatics4:25 Strategies for Systems Interoperability Using Modern API’s

John Stalker, Product Manager, Professional Services, Core Informatics

Modern informatics platforms often need to be able to interchange data with legacy systems. Achieving this used to require custom connectors which can be costly and cause system upgrade headaches. With modern API’s and a standardized platform, you can avoid the need for customization. This presentation will discuss strategies and examples of how modern software technology can help you achieve your interoperability goals.

4:40 Refreshment Break and Transition to Plenary Session

5:00 Plenary Keynote Session

6:00 Grand Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

7:30 Close of Day

Tuesday, March 8

7:00 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee

8:00 Plenary Keynote Session

9:00 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


10:05 Chairperson’s Remarks

Daniel H. Robertson, Ph.D., Visiting Science Fellow, Indiana Biosciences Research Institute

10:15 The Center for Expanded Data Annotation and Retrieval: New Technology for Data Discovery and Integration

Mark A. Musen, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Stanford University

The Center for Expanded Data Annotation and Retrieval (CEDAR) is a new center of excellence founded under the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program. Workers at CEDAR are studying new technologies to develop and manage online templates for describing experimental metadata, and for piecing together those templates to create structures that investigators can use to produce standard metadata descriptions more efficiently and more precisely. CEDAR is working to make the authoring of comprehensive metadata a simple task so that online datasets can be more discoverable, more self-descriptive, and more analyzable by the biomedical community.

10:45 Discovery with Purpose: Understanding Regional Health through Information Capture, Access, Integration and Analytics

Daniel H. Robertson, Ph.D., Visiting Science Fellow, Indiana Biosciences Research Institute

A new industry-lead institute (Indiana Biosciences Research Institute) is attempting to understand and moderate metabolic diseases in the local population. This talk will present efforts to collect, integrate, and analyze information from multiple diverse sources (public, commercial and private) to provide insight into health and disease progression and identify possible discovery, intervention and/or behavioral modification opportunities.

11:15 Rational Data-Driven Development of Novel Poly-Pharmacology Small Molecules

Stephan C. Schürer, Ph.D., Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami

We developed a scalable computational framework to integrate and query large and diverse systems chemical biology datasets, such as those from the NIH Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signaling (LINCS) and Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) projects. Using machine learning and protein structure-based simulations, we leverage this information to prioritize novel compounds with desirable profiles, for example dual kinase and epigenetic reader domain activity to target certain cancers.

11:35 A Platform Strategy for Research

Farida Kopti, Ph.D., Director, Chemistry/Pharmacology/HTS Informatics & IT, Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck is designing an open, cloud-based, integrated research data capture, management, and analytics platform to drive operational efficiency, improved user experience, scientific collaboration (internal and external) and accelerated decision-making. The objective is to enhance reusability of data and scientific informatics capabilities by standardizing data capture and management and creating an application ecosystem that enables rapidly advancing science, while reducing the total cost of operations.

11:55 PANEL DISCUSSION: Security Considerations for Virtual Research

Moderator: Michael H. Elliott, CEO, Atrium Research & Consulting LLC

Panelists: Mohit Agnihotri, Associate Director, Informatics, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Ton van Daelen, Ph.D., ScienceCloud Product Director, Marketing, Dassault Systemes, BIOVIA

Art Morales, Ph.D., Vice President, Technology and Corporate Development, Beryllium

As externalization and virtualization of research has increased, so have concerns over security and data access rights. This panel will discuss their approaches to:

  • Managing data access rights through a maze of conflicting partnership agreements
  • Security considerations when moving to the cloud
  • On-boarding new partners
  • Data encryption
  • Firewalling internal systems

12:15 pm Session Break

Elsevier12:25 Luncheon Presentation I: When Every Piece Matters: Mobilizing Informational Resources for Rare Diseases

Marie Shkrob, Ph.D., Project Manager, Elsevier R&D Solutions, Professional Services, Elsevier

Providing comprehensive disease-specific summaries remains a serious challenge as information is scattered across multiple resources. Elsevier is collaborating with a rare disease charity Findacure to create an informational portal for patients, researchers, and doctors to help finding new treatments, increase awareness, streamline information exchange and education. Using an integrative approach of automated and manual curation of literature, we constructed a knowledgebase containing an overview of the disease mechanisms, targets, drugs, key opinion leaders, and institutions. To demonstrate the utility of this approach, congenital hyperinsulinism will be discussed.

12:55 Luncheon Presentation II (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)

1:25 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


2:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Michael H. Elliott, CEO, Atrium Research & Consulting LLC

2:10 Challenges and Opportunities in Data Integration and Analysis in Translational Research

Ajay Shah, Ph.D., MBA, PMP, Division Director, Research Informatics and Systems, City of Hope National Medical Center

Integration of diverse sets of preclinical, clinical research, patient care, pharmacovigilance, etc. data is key to successful translational research. An emerging trend in translational research is inter-institutional collaboration and data sharing which brings even greater challenges and rewards. We describe novel approaches to data collection, coding non-coded data, standardization, integration, analysis and sharing using City of Hope’s SPIRIT platform.

2:40 Merck in vivo Data Contract: Enabling Translational PK/PD

Farida Kopti, Ph.D., Director, Chemistry/Pharmacology/HTS Informatics & IT, Merck & Co., Inc.

Common data ontology established within Merck harmonizes the attributes of in-life, biomarker and PK analysis data generated internally and externally, to enable successful data mining and aggregation. This has improved our ability to establish links between the PK and PD data at the individual subject level. The quantitative understanding of the relationships between drug dose, exposure, target engagement, and efficacy/safety will improve the translation of compound properties from animal to man.

3:10 PANEL DISCUSSION: Inspiring Others to Innovate with Technology

Moderator: Andreas Matern, Vice President, Commercial Partnerships and Innovation, BioReference Laboratories, Inc.

Panelists: Gamiel Gran, Chief Strategy Officer, SOASTA, Inc.

Tom Arneman, President, Ceiba Solutions

Innovation is not about invention, but inventions can be innovative. Creating opportunities for colleagues to experiment with solutions around a problem is something not well tolerated, as most activities in companies are defined projects, where success is the only option. Getting team members to be innovative is about embracing a culture of risk-taking, where failure is an option, and is welcomed. These topics will be explored by innovative leaders in bio/pharma that will also share their approaches on how to create their cultures of innovation.

3:40 NGS Analysis Reveals Targets and Biomarkers for Treating PNET via Synthetic Lethality

Chester Chamberlain, Faculty, Assistant Researcher, Diabetes Center

Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are a rare but clinically important form of cancer. Like all cancers, PNETs arise as a result of changes in the DNA sequence of the genome. We will present how we use NGS analysis to identify synthetic lethal interactions in PNET and predict drug efficacy in a patient-derived xenograft model of PNET.

3:55 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

4:10 St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

5:00 Breakout Discussions in the Exhibit Hall

This interactive session provides attendees an opportunity to choose a specific discussion group to join. Each group has a moderator to ensure focused discussions around key issues within the topic.This format allows participants to meet potential collaborators, share examples from their work, vet ideas with peers, and be part of a group problem-solving endeavor. The discussions provide an informal exchange of ideas and are not meant to be a corporate or specific product discussion.

Integrated Informatics for Pharma What Does This Mean?

Michael Elliott, CEO, Atrium Research & Consulting LLC

Health Informatics – A Challenge to Drug Discovery

Stuart Morton, Ph.D., Research Scientist, LRL IT Health Informatics, Eli Lilly and Company

  • How can scientists use social media data in early drug discovery?
  • What information form clinical trials can be used to determine future drug targets?
  • Are EMRs being designed to harvest data that could improve the drug discovery process?

Data Analytics

Art Morales, Ph.D., Vice President, Technology and Corporate Development at Beryllium

6:00 Close of Day

Wednesday, March 9

7:00 am Registration Open

7:00 Breakfast Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Morning Coffee

8:00 Plenary Keynote Session Panel 

10:00 Refreshment Break and Poster Competition Winner Announced in the Exhibit Hall


10:50 Chairperson’s Remarks

Bonnie Feldman, D.D.S., MBA, Digital Health Analyst and Chief Growth Officer, DrBonnie360

11:00 PANEL DISCUSSION: The Collaboratory at Work in Multiple Sclerosis and Beyond

Marcia Kean, Chairman, Strategic Initiatives, Feinstein Kean Healthcare

Kenneth Buetow, Ph.D., Director, Computational Sciences and Informatics, Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative (CASI), Arizona State University

Robert McBurney, Ph.D., CEO, Accelerated Cure Project for MS

PCORnet, the national research network, is catalyzing collaborations across academe, government, industry and advocacy organizations to change the research enterprise. iConquerMSTM, a Patient-Powered Research Network that recently was awarded Phase II funding, has collected patient-generated health data and a portfolio of emerging collaborations, allowing Big Data analysis by ASU’s Next Generation Cyber Capability of high performance hardware, software, and people. Resulting insights will change clinical practice and accelerate research. The audience will gain the learnings from the iConquerMSTM team, including technical and cultural challenges, patient data collection methods, research collaboration strategy, tools for Big Data integration/analysis and transformation into knowledge, and potential use of this initiative as a model.

12:00 pm Innovation from the Clinical Laboratory – The New Role of -Omics-Based Testing & Decision Support

Andreas Matern, Vice President, Commercial Partnerships and Innovation, BioReference Laboratories, Inc.

In this talk we’ll discuss how clinical laboratories are changing beyond the simple “send sample, give us results” paradigm to an information-driven ecosystem, working in close partnership with providers, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals to leverage the knowledge they have accumulated to drive new medical discoveries and improve patient care and outcomes. The emphasis will be on bioinformatics, the combination of large data sets, and building systems that work across multiple end users and groups.

12:30 Session Break

12:40 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

1:10 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall and Last Chance for Poster Viewing

1:50 Chairperson’s Remarks

Bonnie Feldman, D.D.S., MBA, Digital Health Analyst and Chief Growth Officer, DrBonnie360

2:00 PANEL DISCUSSION: Big Data and Unmet Clinical Needs: Two Problems Separated by a Common Language

Michael Liebman, Ph.D., Managing Director, IPQ Analytics, LLC

Charles Barr, MD, MPH, Group Medical Director and Head, Evidence Science and Innovation, Genentech

Hal Wolf, Director, National Leader of Information and Digital Health Strategy, The Chartis Group

This panel session explores themes of bio/informatics, business, operational, clinical and real world perspectives and how each area works collaboratively to meet unstated medical needs (not just unmet needs). We will explore different models (or business models that have been inverted) to not only show how technology can work or data collection can work but how to work with data to improve a diagnosis and stratify a disease.

3:00 Integrated Analytics of GBM Tumors from FMI and TCGA Patient Data

Eric Neumann, Ph.D., Vice President, Knowledge Informatics, Foundation Medicine, Inc.

The development of diagnostic and predictive analytics is key for effectively leveraging the potential of complete genomic profiles (CGP) to transform the healthcare model. We show that the classifications of genomic alterations can be applied to multiple tumor types as well as different data sets, such as ours and TCGA. This system can then be used to discover clinical relevant relations across sample sets and even predict outcomes.

3:30 Illuminating Druggable Genome: Knowledge Management Center

Oleg Ursu, Research Asst Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico

The large part of the human genome's role in biology and human disease remains unknown. The IDG project aims to shed light on four important classes of proteins: GPCR, kinases, ion channels, and nuclear receptors. The knowledge management center's main focus is on integration of knowledge on protein structure, function, tissue expression, and role in human diseases. Data from multiple databases and text mining are standardized and integrated into Target Central Resource Database (TCRD). TCRD is accessible through multifaceted web interface and REST API and aims to provide a versatile tool to navigate and assess druggability of understudied proteins.

4:00 Session Break

4:10 Chairperson’s Remarks

Bonnie Feldman, D.D.S., MBA, Digital Health Analyst and Chief Growth Officer, DrBonnie360

4:15 Engaging Both Commercial and Altruistic Collaborative Drug Discovery

Barry Bunin, Ph.D., CEO, Collaborative Drug Discovery (CDD)

CDD Vault is a collaborative platform that is intuitive enough for non-specialists (biologists, chemists, informaticians, project managers) from drug discovery project teams to all embrace. By tapping into business, scientific, and aesthetic drivers across the drug discovery marketplace, the “rising tide lifts all ships”. New informatics technologies will be shared.

4:45 Digital Tools for the Microbiome – An Emerging Field in Genomics and Medicine

Bonnie Feldman, D.D.S., MBA, Digital Health Analyst and Chief Growth Officer, DrBonnie360

New research shows an association between changes in the microbiome in Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis. With the convergence of large population data sets and personal data we are beginning to make progress in research, development and clinical trials in autoimmune disease. This talk will highlight new companies using data and digital tools to improve our understanding and treatment of autoimmunity.

5:15 A Full Stack Solution to Pharmacogenomics

Greyson Twist, Software Engineer, Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine, Children’s Mercy Genome Center

Realizing the world personalized medicine requires integrating data from many disparate sources. To accomplish this we are developing a 3 tiered software solution. Astraea to handle locus specific knowledge management through expert curation, Constellation to handle locus allele identification from Next-gen data, and Astronomer to handle drug phenotype prediction. Each of these tools has unique problems, data source integration, standardization, and biologically driven heuristic choice.

5:45 Close of Conference Program