2014 Archived Content

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Inaugural
Genomics & Sequencing Data Integration, Analysis and Visualization
Converging Cloud Computing and Big Data to Support Life Sciences Research
Part of the 21st Annual Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference

February 13-14, 2014 | Westin St. Francis | San Francisco, CA

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Friday, February 14

8:00 am Morning Coffee


8:25 Chairperson’s Remarks
Peter Alterman, Ph.D., COO, SAFE-BioPharma Association 

8:30 An Expert’s Guide through the Identity Landscape

Peter Alterman, Ph.D., COO, SAFE-BioPharma Association

More and more business processes are moving online and expanding collaboration among parties. The US government’s health IT initiative is both a powerful incentive and a significant challenge for many firms. The evolution of business to the Internet increases the risks and the impacts of computer hacking, fraud and many forms of cyber attack. One of the three critical strategies for mitigating risk is online identity management; that is, knowing with a calibrated degree of confidence that you know who is connecting with your online applications. As many schemes and technologies, products and promises as there are for identity management, it all comes down to a few simple principles to live by.

9:00 An Infrastructure Approach for Securing and Scaling Data Collaborations

Michael Shoffner, Senior Research Software Architect, Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)/University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC); Adjunct Instructor, School of Information and Library Science (SILS), UNC

RENCI is developing an infrastructure that combines policy based data management, software defined networking, and endpoint security to create a cloud based fabric that enables secure collaborative data management over large scientific and medical data sets. Components of this architecture are already in production use by UNC's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, SAS, and NC TraCS, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) institute at UNC. This talk will outline how this open source architecture works and how to employ it in infrastructure solutions.

9:30 Security and Control in the Cloud 

Ramin Daron, IT Director, Information Technology, Johnson & Johnson

Richard Wolf, Senior Director, Global Medical Safety - Pharmacovigilance Operations, Johnson & Johnson

This presentation will cover practical implementations of security and safeguards for a cloud service in a regulated industry. Concepts of data ownership and security, regulations, policies and architectural decisions to be offered for consideration. 

10:00 Talk Title to be Announced 
Adam Fuchs, CTO and Co-founder, Sqrrl 

10:30 Coffee Break with Exhibit and Poster Viewing



Sponsored by

Thomson Reuters 


10:55 Chairperson’s Remarks
Andreas Matern, Vice President, Disruptive Innovation, Life Sciences, Thomson Reuters 

11:00 Advances in Translational Approaches in Brain Diseases 
Sirimon O'Charoen, Ph.D., Manager, Translational Medicine, Life Sciences Professional Services, Thomson Reuters 
With recent advances in genomics and clinical imaging technologies, various types of biomarkers are being collected for clinical studies. The heterogeneous nature and the scale of big data make it difficult, if not impossible, to access information for a scientist-- let alone data analysis and interpretation.  To address this challenge, we will show how tranSMART, an open source knowledge management platform, can be used to store, integrate, and provide exploratory data analysis. We will give specific examples of projects in brain diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.     

11:30 Making Sense of Big Data in Pharma

Andreas Matern, Vice President, Disruptive Innovation, Life Sciences, Thomson Reuters

Big Data is quickly becoming an overused, and poorly understood, term in technology. This talk will focus on Big Data for the life sciences:  are -omics data the only 'big data'? What's a practical working definition for Big Data in the Life Sciences and does it differ from other areas where data is analyzed at scale?  What role does visualization have in Big Data? How do we resolve gaps in life sciences data?  How can we spot trends utilizing aggregated information from disparate data sources, and can we effectively ask questions and monitor the ever growing amount of structured and unstructured content that we have access to?

12:00 pm Finding a Needle in a Haystack – Making Sense of Gene Variant Information

Chris Willis, Ph.D., Solution Specialist, Life Sciences, Thomson Reuters

Rapidly advancing ‘Next Gen Sequencing’ (NGS) technologies led to generation of massive amounts of sequencing data which contain valuable information about correlation between genome variations and clinical phenotypes. Yet this information remains fragmented, scattered among multiple databases and individual publications. This prevents its effective use for the interpretation of genomic data, which increasingly becomes a bottleneck in diagnostic applications. To address this problem, we have indexed a database of gene variant content which integrates knowledge on tens of thousands of gene variants and their reported implication to health, collected from a broad range of sources. All information is manually curated, and describes the association between a genetic variant and disease or treatment response. Each record provides the level of correlation, effect of the genotype-phenotype association, and possible role as a biomarker, delivering a level of confidence in the variant relationship. Programmatic access to this gene variant content makes this data available for incorporation into internal systems and workflows as well as filtering of those clinically actionable gene variants related to genetic predisposition to disease and sensitivity/resistance as a predictor of response to therapies.


12:30 Close of Symposium 

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