Original Agenda
We are actively working with our speakers to confirm their availability for the virtual event. Initial response from our speakers has been very positive, and we are optimistic we will have the new programs ready to share here soon.

Data Visualization Tools

With a sharp increase in the volume and complexity of big datasets for research and drug discovery labs, data visualization is needed to clearly express the complex patterns. It is more important than ever to develop data visualization and exploration tools alongside the rest of the analytics, as opposed to later in the game. The Data Visualization Tools track will discuss new visualization tools, dashboards, and platforms, as well as ways that these tools can help solve problems, validate, and interpret the data science and artificial intelligence insights. How can your visualization methods be validated as to their ability to provide full analytic results that may extend well beyond 2 or 3 dimensions?

Final Agenda


Monday, october 5

9:00 am - 5:00 pm Hackathon*

*Pre-registration required.

Tuesday, october 6

7:30 am Workshop Registration Open and Morning Coffee

8:30 am - 3:30 pm Hackathon*

*Pre-registration required.

8:30 - 11:30 am Recommended Morning Pre-Conference Workshops*

W3. Introduction to Data Visualization for Biomedical Applications

Nils Gehlenborg, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School

12:30 - 3:30 pm Recommended Afternoon Pre-Conference Workshops*

W14. Deep Learning for Image Analysis

Peter Henstock, PhD, AI & Machine Learning Lead, Pfizer

Chao-Hui Huang, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Quantitative Image Analysis Computational Biology, Oncology Research Unit, Pfizer

*Separate registration required.

2:00 - 6:30 Main Conference Registration Open


4:00 Welcome Remarks

Cindy Crowninshield, RDN, LDN, Executive Event Director, Cambridge Healthtech Institute





4:05 Keynote Introduction

4:15 PLENARY KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: NIH’s Strategic Vision for Data Science

Susan K. Gregurick, PhD, Associate Director, Data Science (ADDS) and Director, Office of Data Science Strategy (ODSS), National Institutes of Health





Rebecca Baker, PhD, Director, HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health





5:00 - 7:00 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing



Wednesday, october 7

7:30 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee


8:00 Welcome Remarks

Allison Proffitt, Editorial Director, Bio-IT World




8:05 Awards Program Introduction

J.W. Bizzaro8:10 Benjamin Franklin Award and Laureate Presentation

J.W. Bizzaro, Managing Director, Bioinformatics.org





Allison Proffitt8:35 Bio-IT World Innovative Practices Awards

Allison Proffitt, Editorial Director, Bio-IT World




8:45 Keynote Introduction

8:55 PANEL DISCUSSION: Game On: How AI, Citizen Science, and Human Computation Are Facilitating the Next Leap Forward

Seth CooperSeth Cooper, PhD, Assistant Professor, Khoury College of Computer Sciences, Northeastern University






Lee LancashireLee Lancashire, PhD, Chief Information Officer, Cohen Veterans Bioscience






Pietro Michelucci, PhD, Director, Human Computation Institute






Jérôme WaldispühlJérôme Waldispühl, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Computer Science, McGill University






While the precision medicine movement augurs for better outcomes through targeted prevention and intervention, those ambitions entail a bold new set of data challenges. Various panomic and traditional data streams must be integrated if we are to develop a comprehensive basis for individualized care. However, deriving actionable information requires complex predictive models that depend on the acquisition and integration of patient data on a massive scale. This picture is further complicated by new data streams emerging from quantified self-tracking and health social networks, both of which are driven by experimentation-feedback loops. Tackling these issues may seem insurmountable, but recent advancements in human/AI partnerships and crowdsourcing science adds a new set of capabilities to our analytic toolkit. This talk describes recent work in online collective systems that combine human and machine-based information processing to solve biomedical data problems that have been otherwise intractable, and an information processing ecosystem emerging from this work that could transform the landscape of precision medicine for all stakeholders.

9:45 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


10:50 Organizer’s Welcome Remarks

Cambridge Healthtech Institute

10:55 Chairperson’s Remarks

11:00 The State of the Art in Visualizing Multivariate Networks

Nobre CarolinaCarolina Nobre, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Engineering, Harvard University

Multivariate networks are made up of nodes and their relationships (links), but also data about those nodes and links as attributes. Most real-world networks are associated with several attributes, and many analysis tasks depend on analyzing both, relationships and attributes. Visualization of multivariate networks, however, is challenging, especially when both the topology of the network and the attributes need to be considered concurrently. In this state-of-the-art report, we analyze current practices and classify techniques along four axes: layouts, view operations, layout operations, and data operations. We also provide an analysis of tasks specific to multivariate networks and give recommendations for which technique to use in which scenario. Finally, we survey application areas and evaluation methodologies.

11:30 Visualizing the Clinical Research Landscape – And Why It Matters for Ethics, Efficiency, and Transparency

Hey_SpencerSpencer Hey, PhD, Faculty and Co-Director of Research Ethics, Harvard Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School

In this talk, I will present three different pictures of clinical research landscapes–one depicting a single drug development trajectory; one depicting a family of development trajectories from drugs in the same class; one depicting the entire research portfolio from ten pharmaceutical companies. I will argue that each of these pictures has something valuable to teach about how to make the research enterprise more efficient, transparent, and ethical.

12:00 pm Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

12:30 Session Break

12:40 LUNCHEON PRESENTATION I: Accelerating the Exchange of Data in Healthcare and Life Sciences

Frederic Lee, Business Development – Life Sciences, Amazon Web Services

Predictive models and algorithms in healthcare and life sciences (HCLS) have emerged from the combination of patient data and advanced analytics. With machine learning and AI technologies becoming commoditized, scalable access to patient data now throttles the build of such predictive analytics. We will discuss how the AWS Data Exchange, as a digital marketplace for data, addresses this ‘data bottleneck’ by accelerating data exchange in a regulatory compliant, economically sustainable, and cloud-native manner.

1:10 Luncheon Presentation II (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)

1:40 Session Break


1:50 Chairperson’s Remarks

Baohong Zhang, PhD, Director of Genome Informatics, Translational Biology, Biogen

1:55 Integrative Data Analysis Platform

Zhang_BaohongBaohong Zhang, PhD, Director of Genome Informatics, Translational Biology, Biogen

We will present CHOmics, a web-based tool for easy profiling of CHO cell line -omics and integrative visualization. The tool has built in a comprehensive pipeline for RNA sequencing data analysis including sequencing/sample quality control, reads alignment and gene count normalization, and statistical analysis (e.g., differential expression analysis and pathway analysis). Unlike other RNAseq tools, CHOmics is designed specifically for CHO cell lines with advanced interactive functionalities to enable users to customize their analysis plan. In addition, it advances visualization by providing powerful ways (e.g., PCA plot, interactive heatmaps, Volcano plot, Pathway visualization, etc.) for visualizing data quality and statistical analysis output.

2:25 Data-Driven Modeling Platform

Corrado_PriamiCorrado Priami, PhD, President & CEO, COSBI

A user-friendly graphical platform is presented to integrate different data types in a single framework and to abstract them into actionable models. The platform speeds up research and development process and promotes data sharing.

2:55 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

3:25 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

visualizing business value with vcs

4:00 PANEL DISCUSSION: Visualizing Business Value with VCs

Moderator: Debbie Lin, PhD MPP, MSc Eng, Executive Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA, Inc.


Ardy Arianpour, CEO & Co-Founder, Seqster

Navid Alipour, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Analytics Ventures 

Corey Centen, CEO and Co-Founder, Bodyport

Sean Cheng, PhD, Investment Manager, Philips Ventures

Jessica Federer, Venture Affiliate Partner, Boston Millennia Partners, Former CDO, Bayer

Michael Langer, Manager, Corporate Development, Search and Evaluation Lead, Pear Therapeutics

Millie Liu, Founder, Managing Partner, First Star Ventures

Annastasiah Mudiwa Mhaka, PhD, Co-Founder and Convenor, Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AAIH)

Additional Panelists to be Announced


5:35 Best of Show Awards Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


6:45 End of Day

Thursday, october 8

7:30 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee


8:00 Organizer’s Remarks

Cindy Crowninshield, RDN, LDN, Executive Event Director, Cambridge Healthtech Institute




Robert Green8:15 Toward Preventive Genomics: Lessons from MedSeq and BabySeq

Robert Green, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine (Genetics) and Director, G2P Research Program/Preventive Genomics Clinic, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Broad Institute, and Harvard Medical School




Natalija Jovanovic9:00 AI in Pharma: Where We Are Today and How We Will Succeed in the Future

Natalija Jovanovic, PhD, Chief Digital Officer, Sanofi Pasteur




9:45 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall and Poster Competition Winners Announced at 10:00




10:30 Organizer’s Remarks

Cambridge Healthtech Institute

10:35 Chairperson’s Remarks

10:40 Powering Question-Driven Problem Solving to Improve the Chances of Finding New Medicines**

Hasan_SamiulSamiul Hasan, PhD, Scientific Analytics and Visualization Director, Data and Computational Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline

Making true “molecule”-“mechanism”-“observation” relationship connections is a time consuming, iterative and laborious process. In addition, it is very easy to miss critical information that affects key decisions or helps make plausible scientific connections. The current practice for deciphering such relationships frequently involves subject matter experts (SMEs) requesting resource from resource-constrained data science departments to refine and redo highly similar ad hoc searches. The result of this is impairment of both the pace and quality of scientific reviews. In this presentation, I show how semantic integration can be made to ultimately become part of an integrated learning framework for more informed scientific decision-making. I will take the audience through our pilot journey and highlight practical learnings that should inform subsequent endeavors.

11:10 Computational Efforts on Drug Repurposing for Rare Diseases

Li_BinBin Li, PhD, Director, Computational Biology, Takeda Pharmaceutics

We conducted in silico screens trying to repurpose >100 compounds for ~4000 rare disease indications. Various data types were utilized (protein-protein interaction network, pathways, disease driven genes, competitive intelligence, etc.), and different computational methods were implemented and evaluated. Some biologically interesting drug/disease pairs were observed.

11:40 Presentation to be Announced


12:10 pm Session Break

Deloitte_ConvergeHealth12:20 Luncheon Presentation I to be Announced

Schrodinger12:50 Luncheon Presentation II


1:20 Dessert Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Last Chance Poster Viewing


1:55 Chairperson’s Remarks

2:00 Pediatric Cell Atlas: Using Single-Cell Technology to Understand Childhood Health and Disease

Deanne Taylor, PhD, Director of Bioinformatics, DBH, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

2:30 Scaling scRNASeq Visualization to Unlimited Datasets with Cellxgene Gateway

Saldanha_ALokAlok Saldanha, PhD, Technical Associate Director, NIBR Informatics, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Cellxgene Gateway is an open source tool (https://github.com/Novartis/cellxgene-gateway) which allows you to use the Cellxgene Server provided by the Chan Zuckerberg with multiple datasets. I will introduce this tool in the context of a typical single-cell RNA-Seq analysis workflow, and touch on deployment issues in an enterprise cloud with a budget.


3:00 Presentation to be Announced

Quackenbush_JohnJohn Quackenbush, PhD, Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics; Chair, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health



3:30 Embedding Single-Cell RNA-Seq Profiles in Non-Euclidean Spaces

Ding_JiaruiJiarui Ding, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Aviv Regev’s Lab, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Single-cell RNA-Seq has become an invaluable tool for studying biological systems in health and diseases. We introduced scPhere, a scalable deep generative model to embed cells into low-dimensional hyperspherical or hyperbolic spaces, as a more accurate representation of the data. scPhere resolves cell crowding, corrects multiple, complex batch factors, facilitates interactive visualization of large datasets, and gracefully uncovers pseudotemporal trajectories.

4:00 Close of Conference


**Presentations delivered via a live, interactive video conferencing platform.**

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