Cloud Computing Image

Cloud, the preferred platform for delivery of computing services, is utilized for analyzing, modeling, storing, processing, exploring, and sharing dynamic data. Even with cloud’s maturity, though, innovations and applications continue to evolve. The global pandemic has further necessitated the need for digital solutions. Thus, enterprises are transitioning from a piecemeal approach to a more holistic end-to-end digital transformation with cloud at its core. However, architects and development teams face a tough job. Choices made at setup may be lasting decisions. Through case studies, the Cloud Computing track explores the rapid growth and progressive achievements of cloud as well as evolving provider and user experiences and challenges.

Monday, September 20

7:30 am Registration Open
8:00 am Recommended Pre-Conference Workshops*

Cambridge Healthtech Institute is pleased to offer morning and afternoon pre-conference workshops on Monday, September 20, 2021. They are designed to be instructional, interactive and provide in-depth information on a specific topic. They allow for one-on-one interaction and provide a great way to explain more technical aspects that would otherwise not be covered during the main conference tracks that take place Tuesday-Wednesday. 

*Separate registration required. See Workshop page for details.

9:30 am Break
9:45 am Recommended Pre-Conference Workshops*
11:15 am Enjoy Lunch on Your Own
12:45 pm Recommended Pre-Conference Workshops*
2:15 pm Break
2:30 pm Recommended Pre-Conference Workshops*
4:00 pm Session Break and Transition to Plenary Keynote


4:15 pm Innovative Practices Awards – Winners Spotlight

Pharma Executive Roundtable: Broadening the Data Ecosystem

Panel Moderator:
Lita Sands, Head, Life Sciences, Amazon Web Services

The Bio-IT World community employed creativity, problem solving, and technical ingenuity to weather 2020 and never was the work more important. Meanwhile, digitization has been broadening the horizons of new possibilities and initiatives that are driving innovation in the life sciences sector. While over the past year many pharmaceutical companies have seen an acceleration of digital transformation, there are still many that are unsure what to expect going forward. Digital transformation is now a strategic imperative, not a buzzword. Join our Pharma Executive Roundtable to discover how biopharma companies are broadening their digital strategies and capabilities to develop products and services to scale, streamline operations, and drive innovation in life sciences R&D. 

Ramesh V. Durvasula, PhD, Vice President & Information Officer, Research Labs, Eli Lilly & Co.
Michael Montello, Senior Vice President, R&D Tech, GlaxoSmithKline
Bryn Roberts, PhD, Senior Vice President & Global Head of Data Services, Roche
Holly Soares, PhD, Vice President & Head, Precision Medicine, Pfizer Inc.
Lihua Yu, Chief Data Officer, FogPharma
5:45 pm Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
7:00 pm Close of Day

Tuesday, September 21

7:00 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee


8:00 am Organizer's Remarks

Mary Ann Brown, Executive Director, Conferences, Cambridge Healthtech Institute

8:05 am

Chairperson's Remarks

James Weatherell, Lead Research Computing Architect, Research Computing, Harvard Medical School
8:10 am

Socio-Technical Systems Approach to Multi-sStakeholder Data Sharing Architecture with a Case Study

Kevin K. Nam, PhD, Research Staff, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Data sharing among stakeholders in the development, access, and use of drug therapies is critical. In this talk, we describe our systems engineering approach with a methodology for developing a multi-stakeholder data sharing system, with its focus on high-level requirements that influence the design of the system architecture and technology choices. A realistic use case is addressed to illustrate the need for a scalable design for multi-stakeholder data sharing.  

8:40 am

On-Premises Cloud Hybrid High Performance Computing

Yecheng Huang, PhD, CTO, Omic Scientific, Inc.

High-performance computing technology helps life science pioneer new solutions to the complex computation problems. The diverse and dynamic computing demands challenge the agility of infrastructure capacity and capability, particularly when artificial intelligence continues to be adopted by the research field. There have been the arguments of where to adopt the next-generation HPC – through either on-premises or cloud computing. The concerns range from cost, data compliance, data gravity, workflow challenges, etc. Here presents an on-premises and public cloud hybrid HPC solution to converge the benefits of both sides and ensure business continuity.

9:10 am Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
Enoch S. Huang, PhD, Vice President, Medicinal Sciences, Worldwide Research, Development and Medical, Pfizer

With the advent of single cell sequencing at Pfizer, various departments began addressing the challenges of data management and processing in isolation. The newly formed Integrative Biology discipline made a strategic decision to develop a project gallery to share scRNAseq data across the organization. I will describe Pfizer’s partnership with Seven Bridges to design and deliver a powerful informatics platform that balances flexibility while fostering data discoverability, reproducibility, and reuse.

Leif Pedersen, President, Software, Certara

The combination of new therapeutic modalities, cloud computing, new scientific informatics vendors, analytics, and AI requires a service-based multi-vendor architecture to provide efficiency in the research process. Legacy systems duplicate many required scientific informatics functions within modality-specific applications. A utopian future of data-driven research requires compute and data systems to seamlessly interconnect to provide scientists the data and modeling results needed to make the best possible research decisions without compromise.

11:00 am

The Harvard Medical School – Research Computing Journey to the Cloud

James Weatherell, Lead Research Computing Architect, Research Computing, Harvard Medical School

Over the last two years, HMS Research Computing has been working to define their Cloud Computing architecture and service offering. Join James Weatherell as he dives into the HMS Research Computing Cloud strategy. This presentation aims to highlight key challenges the HMS Research Computing team faced around Cloud adoption, along with a look at the cloud architecture and service offerings HMS Research Computing provides their researchers today.

11:30 am Session Break and Transition to Luncheon Presentation
12:00 pm Session Break and Transition to Exhibit Hall
12:15 pm Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


Michael Stapleton, PhD, Managing Director, Life Sciences, Accenture
1:15 pm

How Digital Evolution and an Attitudinal Revolution are Re-Shaping the Future of the Life Sciences Industry

Nimita Limaye, PhD, Research Vice President, Life Sciences R&D Strategy and Technology, IDC

The world has rapidly transitioned to a model of disaggregated care and decentralized clinical trials, with a heightened focus on patient-centricity. Digital resiliency has become the priority and discretionary spend on R&D platforms has been delayed. Federated-learning models are fueling co-innovation and GPU-powered transformer models are accelerating drug discovery. Technology is enabling access and equity. The borders between healthcare and life sciences are blurring and real-world data is being leveraged to drive a precision medicine strategy.

1:50 pm

All of Us Research Program – Seeking To Advance Precision Health for All Populations

Joshua Denny, MD, MS, CEO, All of Us Research Program, National Institutes of Health

The All of Us Research Program launched May 6, 2018 and currently has over 375,000 participants who have contributed biospecimens, health surveys, and a willingness to share their EHR. Participants are partners in the program and receive research results from data they contribute, including genetic ancestry and traits. In the future, participants will also receive health-related genomic results from whole genome sequencing. In May 2020, the program launched the beta version of the Researcher Workbench. Once researchers register and are approved to use the workbench, they can access individual-level data and a suite of tools to analyze these data. All of Us is committed to catalyzing a robust ecosystem of researchers and providing a rich dataset that drives discovery and improves health.

2:30 pm Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


3:00 pm

Chairperson's Remarks

Varun Gupta, IT Director, Analytics and Data Management, Mount Sinai Health System
3:05 pm

Leveraging Compound and Therapeutic Antibody Analytical Data

Felipe Albrecht, PhD, Senior Scientist, Pharma Research and Early Development Informatics, Roche

Analytical methods are essential for pharma research. The primary purpose of analytical methods is answering (bio-)chemical questions, where the data generated is often used only once. Parallelly, we have data AI approaches that require consistent and suited data, which are not usually available. We present our journey on leveraging analytical data: data acquisition, capture, storage, conversion, and offering it back to scientists through a system built on the cloud environment following the FAIR principles.

3:35 pm

Cloud-Driven Data Analytics for Transformation and Innovation

Shahidul Mannan, Head, Data Engineering & Innovation, Data Analytics Organization, Mass General Brigham

Cloud-driven data analytics for transformation and innovation in healthcare: with continued growth and technology innovation in data analytics, cloud and AI - organizations are, more than ever focused on digital transformation. Big data, AI and cloud are enabling transformation through new products and services, helping organizations to become more data-driven at scale and speed of market. This session will focus on how to develop a successful digitization strategy with cloud-driven data analytics, innovation with AI and how to manage the challenges along the way with real life examples, use cases and experience from the industry.

4:05 pm Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
4:35 pm

Setting Up and Scaling Data and Analytics Ecosystem on Cloud for Operations and Research in a Health Care Setting

Varun Gupta, IT Director, Analytics and Data Management, Mount Sinai Health System

Healthcare Data Ecosystem is multi-faced and developing a data ecosystem that can handle streamlined data ingestion, processing, and optimal consumption of this data in a self-service mode is both challenging and complex. This presentation gives a glimpse of a design pattern and approach to accomplish it in one of the leading Health Systems in New York. How the cloud infrastructure was leveraged for various tools and technologies and how the processes were set up around information lifecycle management to maximize access and visibility to data and reporting assets across the health system is presented.

Bill Bryce, Vice President of Product Management, HPC, Altair

Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) are important tools for scientists and engineers to accelerate new discoveries. As in other areas of research, we have found that AI/ML uncovers new and previously unknown solutions to problems that have been overlooked. This talk explores a genomics pipeline with AI/ML workloads and Japan’s ABCI using Altair Grid Engine to manage AI/ML workloads and other batch workloads successfully.

Clarence J. Wang, Ph.D., VP, Head of Data Sciences, Dyne Therapeutics

In this Q&A-based session presented by RCH Solutions, hear well-known leader in the application of computing systems in biopharma organizations large and small, Clarence J. Wang, Ph.D., share lessons learned and best practices for the development of a Cloud-enabled, high-performing compute environment that supports the needs of both the business and IT, in organizations of all scale.

5:35 pm Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
6:35 pm Close of Day

Wednesday, September 22

7:30 am Registration Open
8:00 am Interactive Discussions (Sponsorship Opportunity) or Morning Coffee

Interactive Discussions are informal, moderated discussions, allowing participants to exchange ideas and experiences and develop future collaborations around a focused topic. Each discussion will be led by a facilitator who keeps the discussion on track and the group engaged. For in-person events, the facilitator will lead from the front of the room while attendees remain seated. For virtual attendees, the format will be in an online networking platform. To get the most out of this format, please come prepared to share examples from your work, be a part of a collective, problem-solving session, and participate in active idea sharing. Please visit the website's Interactive Discussions page for a complete listing of topics and descriptions.

9:00 am Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


9:45 am Organizer's Remarks

Mary Ann Brown, Executive Director, Conferences, Cambridge Healthtech Institute

9:50 am

Chairperson's Remarks

Pablo Cingolani, PhD, Principal Scientist, Next Generation Sequencing & AI, AstraZeneca
9:55 am

Bds Programming Language, Scaling over 100,000 CPUs

Pablo Cingolani, PhD, Principal Scientist, Next Generation Sequencing & AI, AstraZeneca

Bds is a simple yet powerful data analysis "orchestration" language. It is used to run data-intensive pipelines on tens of thousands of CPUs or hundreds of GPUs. Bds is a DSL (Domain-Specific Language) that allows you to quickly develop data analysis pipelines on your laptop and then run them on large servers, cloud, or High-Performance Computing infrastructure.

10:25 am

ElasticBLAST: Accelerating Alignments in the Cloud

Tom Madden, PhD, BLAST Offering Lead, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Bioinformatics researchers often find their projects limited by the time to perform alignments. ElasticBLAST solves this problem, able to BLAST hundreds of thousands of DNA or protein sequences by breaking the task into batches and distributing those to multiple cloud instances, using cloud native scheduling systems. This allows the researcher to move ahead with their projects more quickly. ElasticBLAST can search a user provided database or a popular database hosted on the cloud by the National Library of Medicine. We describe the architecture of ElasticBLAST, show examples of the work it can do, and discuss related cloud resources.

10:55 am

Next Level Life Science - Automated Modeling and Simulation with DevOps & Cloud

Christopher Woll, Managing Director, GNS Systems GmbH
Jobst Loeffler, PhD, Digital Transformation & IT Pharma, Bayer AG

Cloud-based modeling under Good Clinical Practices requires a scalable HPC infrastructure to handle the computational demands of complex simulations of virtual patients in clinical trials. GNS Systems supported the pharmaceutical company Bayer to automate a cloud project according to the Infrastructure as Code principle in the build, test and deployment parts in Microsoft Azure. Nodes are scaled automatically via CycleCloud. The infrastructure of the individual environments is rolled out using a fully automated CI/CD pipeline.

11:25 am

Building a Public, Biomedical Dataverse in the Cloud: Laying the Foundation

J Rodney Brister, Staff Scientist, Information Engineering, NIH NLM

To fully benefit from exponentially growing biomedical data, researchers need easy access and computation capabilities for big data. In our efforts towards laying the foundation for a biomedical dataverse, NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in partnership with NIH STRIDES has made the entire Sequence Read Archive and computational tools accessible on the cloud to create an equitable ecosystem where NIH-funded data is FAIR.

11:55 am Session Break and Transition to Luncheon Presentation
12:10 pm Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own
12:55 pm Session Break and Transition to Exhibit Hall
1:10 pm Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing



Trends from the Trenches

Panel Moderator:
Kevin Davies, PhD, Executive Editor, The CRISPR Journal; Founding Editor, Bio-IT World

Since 2010, the “Trends from the Trenches” presentation, given by Chris Dagdigian, has been one of the most popular annual traditions on the Bio-IT Program. The intent of the talk is to deliver a candid (and occasionally blunt) assessment of the best, the worthwhile, and the most overhyped information technologies (IT) for life sciences. The presentation has helped scientists, leadership, and IT professionals understand the basic topics related to computing, storage, data transfer, networks, cloud, data science, and machine learning that are involved in supporting data-intensive science. In 2021, Chris will give the “Trends from the Trenches” presentation in its original “state-of-the-state address” followed by guest speakers giving podium talks on relevant topics. An interactive Q&A moderated discussion with the audience follows. Come prepared with your questions and commentary for this informative and lively session. To stay connected with Trends from the Trenches updates after today and all year, sign up for BioTeam's newsletter here:

Chris Dagdigian, Senior Director, BioTeam, Inc.
Fernanda S. Foertter, PhD, Director of Applications, NextSilicon
Karl Gutwin, PhD, Director, Software Engineering Services, BioTeam, Inc.
Adam Kraut, Director Infrastructure & Cloud Architecture, BioTeam, Inc.
3:30 pm Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


4:00 pm

Chairperson's Remarks

Krista Macomber, Senior Analyst, Data Protection & Multi Cloud Data Management, Evaluator Group, Inc.
4:05 pm

The Art of Security Theater: Doing Real Security When All Auditors Want is Theater

David Bernick, CISO, Broad Institute

You're a research organization and all of a sudden some requirement comes down for you to do some robust security for the software you build and operate. How do you get there? What parts are security and what parts are compliance and what "really" counts?

4:35 pm

Multi-Cloud Data Management: Pitfalls and Best Practices

Krista Macomber, Senior Analyst, Data Protection & Multi Cloud Data Management, Evaluator Group, Inc.

Hybrid multi-cloud is becoming the norm. For their advantages, hybrid multi-cloud environments introduce several data management challenges and requirements. BIO-IT organizations deal with hybrid multi-cloud complexity, with the need to facilitate data collaboration across many research entities, and with data governance, compliance, and privacy requirements. This session will overview the state of the market for multi-cloud data management tools, and considerations for addressing the most pressing related pain points.

5:05 pm

Data Management, Quality Assurance and Computing Infrastructure for Multi-institutional Vaccine and COVID19 Research

Joann Arce, PhD, Instructor, Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Precision Vaccines Program, Boston Children's Hospital

With the increasing demands of biomedical research for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a secured computing infrastructure is needed to support the informatics efforts. The Precision Vaccines Program Data Management Core at Boston Children’s Hospital designed a digital infrastructure using Amazon Web Services cloud computing capabilities to facilitate data management, data storage, and data analysis of study endpoint and safety data allowing collaboration across biomedical centers in the United States.

5:35 pm Close of Conference

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