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Bio-IT World Expo Preview: Managing Big Data on the Genome’s 10th Anniversary

By Bio-IT World Staff

March 7, 2013 | This April welcomes the return of the Bio-IT World Expo in Boston (April 9-11, 2013). Over the course of three days, researchers from academia and industry will discuss themes of big data, cloud computing, trends in IT infrastructure, omics technologies, high-performance computing, data analytics and precision medicine, from the research realm to the clinical arena.

Several of the plenary sessions are designed with two major anniversaries in mind – the 60th anniversary of Watson & Crick’s discovery of the double helix and the 10th anniversary of the official completion of the Human Genome Project.
Keynote: The Art of Drug DesignThis year’s keynote speakers are two renowned computer scientists who are innovating approaches to drug discovery and genomic interpretation. The opening keynoter is Andrew Hopkins, a professor of drug development at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Andrew’s career has focused on developing new approaches to rational drug design. Andrew will talk about precision medicine, the decade of the druggable genome and innovative modeling approaches to drug design. [Keynote: April 9]

Keynote: Translational BioinformaticsThe other keynote will be delivered by Atul Butte from Stanford University. Atul is a physician-scientist and entrepreneur, having helped launch several exciting informatics companies including Personalis and Numedii. Butte’s passions for bioinformatics and data visualization are driving exciting advances in a broad range of areas, from drug repurposing to clinical genomic interpretation. [Keynote: April 10]

Plenary: The CIO JamboreeThe plenary roundtable is an all-star life sciences CIO group, featuring half-a-dozen chief information officers from organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, the Broad Institute, AstraZeneca, the Mayo Clinic, and Novartis to candidly discuss the hope (and hype) surrounding big data. The panel will feature the Bio-IT World debut of the CIO of the National Institutes of Health, Andrea Norris, as well as Martin Leach (Biogen-Idec), Guna Rajagopal (Janssen Pharmaceuticals), and Cris Ross (Mayo Clinic). (Other pharma CIO guests may participate, schedules permitting.) [Plenary Panel: April 11]

Big Data in the Big AppleOne of the most exciting new ventures in life sciences is the creation of the New York Genome Center (NYGC). Scheduled to open later this year, NYGC founders have the luxury of building a 21st century genome institute from scratch. What are their priorities and goals? What IT strategies will they deploy? What challenges does building in Manhattan pose? Building the IT Architecture of the New York Genome Center features acting director of scientific computing, Chris Dwan and Kevin Shianna (senior VP sequencing operations), along with brief presentations from some of NYGC’s strategic IT partners. [Tracks 1-5: April 11]
Genome Center Data ManagementAs data volumes continue to swell, the IT challenges faced today by genome center staffs will inevitably be the headaches experienced by a much larger group of managers in the months and years to come. Managing Big Data: The Genome Center Perspective gathers the senior IT managers from four of the world’s largest genome centers, including the Broad and Sanger Institutes, The Genome Institute at Wash U., and BCM, to discuss current trends and problems in data storage, management and security. [Tracks 1-2: April 11]

Trends in the TrenchesNo Bio-IT World Expo would be complete without the annual “State of the Bio-IT Union” speech from BioTeam principal Chris Dagdigian. Chris will deliver his annual no-holds-barred review of what’s hot -- and what’s most definitely not -- in the world of life sciences IT, from data storage, on-demand computing, virtualization and much more. [Tracks 1-3: April 11]

Conference HighlightsTrying to spotlight highlights from 12 tracks is a thankless tasks, but here are a few particularly intriguing topics to whet the appetite (tracks run on April 10-11):
• Brant Kelley (Scripps Research Institute) discusses disaster recovery strategies for petascale archives [Track 2: Software Development]
• David de Graaf (Selventa) and Hugo Geerts (In Silico Biosciences) are among the attractions in a new track on Systems Pharmacology [Track 6]
• Julia Zhang (Genzyme) discusses clinical trial data quality in the cloud [Track 7: eClinical Trial Solutions]
• Matt Roth (BCM) speaks on Omics data integration using the “Programmable Web” [Track 4: Bioinformatics]
• Kurt Prenger (J&J) presents strategies for whole-genome sequencing data analysis in the cloud [Track 3: Cloud Computing]
• A new dedicated track explores Collaborations and Open Access Innovations, with speakers such as Carolyn Hoban (MMRF), Alan Louie (IDC Health Insights), Christopher Southan, Dan Housman (Recombinant Data), Viral Vyas (BMS), Robin DeMent (GSK), Alexander Sherman (MGH) and Jay Bergeron (Pfizer).
• Joel Dudley (Mount Sinai Sch Med), co-author of the new book Exploring Personal Genomes, speaks on integrating genomics and EMR data for drug repurposing [Track 9: Drug Discovery Informatics]
• Sandy Aronson and Heidi Rehm (Partners Healthcare) discuss the IT and medical challenges to delivering clinical genomics to patients
• Nils Gehlenborg (Harvard Med Sch) previews visualization tools for cancer genomics in a track chaired by 2012 keynote Jill Mesirov (Broad Institute) [Track 8: Data Visualization and Exploration Tools]

Prize DayBio-IT World organizes two major annual competitions. The Best Practices Awards will be announced and handed out on April 10 in a plenary session. Later that day, attention turns to the exhibit hall and the annual Best of Show awards for the most innovative new products. Both competitions are judged by experts from across the industry.

Benjamin Franklin Award 2013The annual Benjamin Franklin Award, presented by president Jeff Bizarro, will go to one of five pioneers of open-data access in bioinformatics: Hilmar Lapp (National Evolutionary Synthesis Center); Aaron Quinlan (Univ Virginia); Alan Ruttenberg (Univ Buffalo); Steven Salzberg (Johns Hopkins University); and Owen White (Univ Maryland). [Franklin Award: Plenary, April 10]

INTRODUCING Medical Informatics World
For 2013, a new sister conference examines key changes in healthcare IT and medical informatics being wrought by big data. The five superb keynoters are:
• John Halamka (CIO, Beth Israel Deaconess)
• Lonny Reisman (CMO, Aetna)
• Sandy Aronson (Exec Dir IT, Partners Healthcare)
• Andrew Lang (CIO, WellPoint)
• Mark Davies (Exec Med Dir, NHS, UK)
This exciting new conference starts on the eve of Bio-IT World, April 8-9, 2013.

For further details on the agenda and registration, please visit the event’s web site:


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