Confirmed Speakers

Nuray Yurt.png

Nuray Yurt
Executive Director, Enterprise Analytics & Data Science
Novartis

John Quackenbush
Chair of the Biostatistics Department
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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Frank Lee
Global Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry Leader
IBM Systems

Linda Moineau.png

Linda Moineau
IT Director
Broad Institute and
Harvard

Manish Mathur.png

Manish Mathur
Senior Director, Enterprise Data Owner for Pharma and Medical Devices
Johnson & Johnson

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Elizabeth George
Director, Digital Clinical Trials
GSK

Jennifer Hall
Chief, Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine
American Heart Association

Shanrong Zhao
Director, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Pfizer

Tom Plasterer
Director of Bioinformatics, Data Science & AI, Bio Pharmaceuticals R&D
AstraZeneca

Tricia Thornton-Wells
Director, Translational Medicine
Alkermes

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Philip C Ross
Director, Head of Translational Bioinformatics Data Science
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Sridevi Ponduru
Associated Medical Director
Takeda

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Ed Addison
CEO
Cloud Pharmaceuticals

Bino John
Associate Director
AstraZeneca

Mark Michalski
Executive Director
MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science

Armaghan Naik
AVP R&D Scientific & Digital Innovation
Sanofi

Phil Lanzafame
Director of Knowledge Solutions
Sentara Healthcare

Danielle Ciofani
Director of Data Strategy and Alliances
Broad Institute

Alix Lacoste
VP of Data Science
Benevolent AI

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Thomas Abbott
Head, Real World Evidence
Astellas

Yan Ge
Director, Data Analytics
Takeda

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Nadeem Sarwar
President, Center for Genetics Guided Dementia Discovery (G2D2)
Eisai

George Lee
Digital Pathology Informatics Lead
Bristol-Myers Squibb

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Deborah McGuinness
Tetherless World Constellation Chair, Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science, Chair
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
and University Researcher
DARPA

Justin H. Johnson
Associate Director and Principal Translational Genomic Scientist
AstraZeneca

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Brian Kelley
Principal Scientist
Relay Therapeutics

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Varenka Rodriguez DiBlasi
Senior Scientist
Boehringer Ingelheim

Peter V Henstock
Machine Learning & AI Technical Lead: Combine AI, Software Engineering, Statistics & Visualization
Pfizer

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Pankaj Agarwal
Senior Fellow, Computational Biology, GSK (former); Principal Computational Biologist
Biolnfi

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Gerald Sun
Senior Data Scientist
AstraZeneca

Mera Tilley
Translational Geneticist
Foresite Capital

G. Celine Han
Research Investigator in Analytics Innovation, Oncology Translational Bioinformatics
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Ping Liu
Head of Data Transformation; Industrial Affairs
Sanofi

Jonathan Pryke
Senior Business Relationship Manager
AstraZeneca


Speaker Biographies

Thomas Abbott, Head, Real World Evidence, Astellas

Thomas Abbott has lead a varied career in senior-level positions across industries including pharma, technology, healthcare and consulting. Currently he leads Real World Evidence at Astellas Pharma. Previously Thomas has acted as Global Head of healthcare solutions at HCL Technologies, a multinational l IT and consulting company. Thomas holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard University.

Ed Addison, CEO, Cloud Pharmaceuticals

Ed Addison, is Chairman and CEO of Cloud Pharmaceuticals, a Research Triangle Park company from Duke University that applies AI to drug design and discovery, achieving unprecedented results. Cloud Pharmaceuticals has designed new drug candidates for cancer, metabolic diseases and other indications. With over 30 years experience, Ed is on the advisory board and/or board of directors of a number of companies deploying exponential technologies in life sciences,  and artificial intelligence, including Drug Logic, Parallel Profile, New Life Cures, and Quantum Cures Foundation.

With a technical background in Artificial Intelligence and Bio-IT, and a strong business development and capital raising background, Ed is an established serial entrepreneur of disruptive ventures. Ed started 6 companies, funded 4 of them and exited 3. He has twice been named "Entrepreneur of the Year". He has advised 7 venture capital funds and over 20 early stage ventures. His expertise is in launching new technology ventures and new technology products. 

Ed is an adjunct professor of engineering management, entrepreneurship and MBA courses. He has previously taught Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Systems Engineering and/or Bioinformatics for several universities including NC State University, Stevens Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins University. Ed holds a BSEE from Virginia Tech, two MS degrees (in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering) from Johns Hopkins, and an MBA from Duke University with a focus in healthcare. He did a sabbatical year at MIT in Artificial Intelligence in 1985.

Pankaj Agarwal, Senior Fellow, Computational Biology, GSK (former); Principal Computational Biologist, Biolnfi 

Dr. Pankaj Agarwal is the Principal Computational Biologist at BioInfi. He has 22+ years of strategic and tactical experience utilizing bioinformatics to enable drug discovery and create pipeline value. He has collaborated extensively with numerous pharmaceutical project teams, academic/biotech partners, and top informatics talent. Dr. Agarwal has 50+ publications in top journals, including Nature Rev Drug Discovery, Nature Biotechnology, and Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, as well as multiple patents. In 2016, he was among a group of select few scientists appointed as senior fellows at GSK. Dr. Agarwal has also served on NSF, NIH, FDA and PhRMA panels. He possesses a B.Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering from IIT, Delhi and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. He is a founder and senior member of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB). Most importantly, Dr. Agarwal is passionate about drug discovery, rare diseases, and helping patients.

Danielle Ciofani, Director of Data Strategy and Alliances, Broad Institute

Danielle Ciofani is passionate about sharing data in healthcare. A data architect turned strategist, she leads the Broad Institute’s Data Sciences Platform team maximizing the impact of data science on the biomedical ecosystem. In addition to her role at Broad, Danielle gives back to the startup community as an Executive in Residence at .406 Ventures, where she focuses on data strategy for early-stage healthcare technology companies. She is also a policy advocate and co-chairs the data sharing workstream for the Biden Cancer Initiative. Prior to these roles, Danielle designed, built and grew the largest integrated real-world database of clinical and claims data for Optum (UnitedHealth Group). She has wide industry perspective from roles serving Provider, Payer and Life Sciences markets. Danielle graduated with a Bachelor in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University (Ohio), beginning her career in interface and interoperability design for large provider health systems.

Yan Ge, Director, Data Analytics, Takeda

A seasoned executive with a proven track record and over 20 years of experience in the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry. Seeking to integrate extensive expertise in science, business and technology in pursuit of value-creation and value-maximization for Life Sciences and Healthcare organizations. 

Elizabeth George, Director, Digital Clincial Trials, GSK

A strategic leader with proven experience leading large scale transformational initiatives to transform clinical trials using digital technologies. She has a deep knowledge of pharmaceutical R&D processes. Her experience spans developing transformative business strategies and managing all phases of project lifecycle from conception through product launch. She is a Six Sigma Green Belt skilled at streamlining processes to enhance efficiency standards and secure long-term cost savings.

G. Celine Han, Research Investigator in Analytics Innovation, Oncology Translational Bioinformatics, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Celine Han is a computational biologist and research investigator in Analytics Innovation, Oncology Translational Bioinformatics at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). Her focus of research is to identify data gaps and to bring in innovative data and methods to inform decision-making for drug development through integration and analysis of patient molecular and clinical data from clinical trials and real-world data (RWD). Her work involves driving and leading complex collaborations and communications with commercial and academic partners, computational and experimental scientists, physicians, and information technologists. Prior to joining BMS, she completed her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Dr. Eliezer Van Allen's lab. She studied the responses and resistance to androgen deprivation therapy for patient stratification and prioritization of combined therapies in metastatic prostate cancer. She completed her Ph.D. training in Bioinformatics and Genomics at Pennsylvania State University studying the epigenetics and transcriptional regulation in erythropoiesis by examining binding locations of transcription factors. Celine also received her Bachelor of Science degree in Life Science at Pennsylvania State University.

Peter V Henstock, Machine Learning & AI Technical Lead: Combine AI, Software Engineering, Statistics & Visualization, Pfizer

Peter Henstock is currently the Machine Learning and AI Technical Lead at Pfizer’s Digital group.  He is working to push AI methodology across Pfizer to improve drug research and development.  He holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Purdue University and 5 Master’s Degrees. He also teaches both Software Engineering and Machine Learning at Harvard University.

Bino John, Associate Director, AstraZeneca

Bino John, PhD, currently leads a variety of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Initiatives at AstraZeneca (AZ). As an Associate Director at AZ, he is leveraging Deep learning and other advanced AI approaches to accelerate Drug development. Before joining AZ in 2018, Bino led a variety of computational biology initiatives and teams at Dow and then Dow-DuPont. In those roles, his efforts included enabling machine learning/AI and integrative big-data informatics capabilities for genomics research for the Agricultural Sector. He earned an Integrated Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology (Mumbai) in 2000 and subsequently received his PhD from The Rockefeller University in Biomedical Sciences in 2003. His thesis research in computational structural biology with Dr. Andrej Sali was followed by postdoctoral studies in computational genomics with Dr. Chris Sander at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre. In 2005, Bino joined the University of Pittsburgh as a faculty, where he focused on using high-throughput methods for cancer biomarker discovery, resulting in the discovery of novel molecules and molecular pathways.

Justin H. Johnson, Associate Director and Principal Translational Genomic Scientist, AstraZeneca

Justin is Proven and highly competent engineer, biotechnology manager, and entrepreneur with over 13 years experience in providing intuitive project management, professional leadership, and deep technical understanding on a wide variety of biotechnology and web based projects. 

He is currently Associate Director and Principal Genomic Scientist at AstraZeneca Oncology. He lead a team of IT architects, bioinformaticians, software developers and project managers. They build infrastructure, develop algorithms/workflows and deliver insight to drug project teams within AZ Oncology. 

He was formerly Director of Bioinformatics, Genomic Services and IT at EdgeBio, a CLIA certified Genomics and Bioinformatics Company. There he oversaw the construction of data analysis pipelines and associated automation infrastructure to support Illumina HiSeqs & MiSeq, Ion Torrents, and SOLiD sequencers with associated LIMs systems, in a production environment. His focus was on large scale informatics challenges and engaging his team, collaborations and the community to address these challenges through integrated, open approaches. Previously, He spent 10 years at TIGR and the J. Craig Venter institute.

Brian Kelley, Principal Scientist, Relay Therapeutics

Brian Kelley has over 20 years of experience in chemoinformatic system programming and architecture design. He has previously held the position of Senior Research Developer at the field-leading chemoinformatic organization OpenEye Scientific. Prior to this Brian was Associate Director at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. Brian holds a M.Eng in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.

Alix Lacoste, VP of Data Science, Benevolent AI

Alix Lacoste, PhD, is the Vice President of Data Science at BenevolentAI, an AI healthcare company that is transforming the way medicines are discovered, designed and developed. She leads a team that grows analytical, visual and machine learning tools for finding new ways to treat diseases. Today, scientists can’t possibly process, contextualize, and make sense of the vast amount of research and biomedical data that is being generated at an ever-increasing pace. Her team is establishing innovative ways to sift through millions of disparate data points in order to identify new and effective drug targets. Previously at IBM Watson Health, Alix led AI-assisted research projects with academic and pharma partners. This led to a breakthrough when her work enabled the Barrow Neurological Institute to identify five new proteins that are altered in patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. For a disease with no effective treatment and a mean survival time of only 5 years, these findings open the door to new therapies. Alix holds a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard University and has received several awards from institutes such as the National Science Foundation.

Phil Lanazafame, Director of Knowledge Solutions, Sentara Healthcare

Phil Lanzafame is an experienced Director Of Information Technology with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Healthcare Information Technology (HIT), Management, Healthcare Management, and Healthcare. At Sentara Healthcare Phil focuses on components that will define the next generation intelligent data repository required for AI and precision medicine applications. 

Frank Lee, Global Healthcare and Life Sciences Industry Leader, IBM Systems

Dr. Frank Lee is the Healthcare and Life Science industry leader for IBM Systems Group with over twenty years’ experience in scientific research and information technology.  His work includes the creation of industry reference architecture and its implementation as HPC, cloud, big data and AI platforms for dozens of clients and partners worldwide. As an advocator for the transformation of the industry towards precision medicine, Frank has spoken in dozens of conferences and published in IBM System Journals, Redbook, research paper and HIMSS report. When encountering gaps of technologies, Frank led charges of innovation with inventions in metadata and provenance management. Frank also brings in the subject matter expertise on genomics, an experience that includes participation in the Human Genome Project as a research associate and his training as a molecular biologist at Washington University.

George Lee, Digital Pathology Informatics Lead, Bristol-Myers Squibb

George Lee received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University and has over 10 years of expertise in the areas of digital pathology, machine learning, and clinical oncology.  Previously, he served as a Research Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Case Western Reserve University. He has authored over 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts and abstracts and holds several patents for image-based companion diagnostics.  Currently, at Bristol-Myers Squibb, he is partnering with image analysis vendors to develop and validate pathology image-based pipelines to provide mechanistic and clinically relevant insights of immunotherapy response.

Ping Liu, Head of Data Transformation, Industrial Affairs, Sanofi

Ping Liu is a proven technology leader with over 18 years of experience developing cutting edge technologies and products in analytics. Previously working in industries from power generation to aviation,  she now leads a team in Sanofi Industrial Affairs as Head of Data Transformation, driving various initiatives to transform data to value.  Ping received the 2017 Lockheed Martin Nova award for technical excellence, the highest honor and recognition in LM, she is skilled in developing and deploying advanced analytics, including machine learning technologies, ecosystem integration and software products.

Manish Mathur, Senior Director, Enterprise Data Owner for Pharma and Medical Devices, Johnson & Johnson

Chief architect, consulting and strategy resource with over 20 years of experience in developing, designing, implementing and managing technical strategy for complex IT implementations in Healthcare, Pharmacy, Retail and Insurance industry. Proven ability to drive enterprise strategies, creatively solve complex problems, and optimize the use of data and technology to enable business goals and processes. Advise leadership on trends, emerging technologies and strategies to effectively partner with business leaders.

Deborah McGuinness, Tetherless World Constellation Chair, Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science, Chair, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; University Researcher, DARPA

Deborah McGuinness is the Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair and Professor of Computer, Cognitive, and Web Sciences at RPI. She is also the founding director of the Web Science Research Center. Deborah has been recognized with awards as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for contributions to the Semantic Web, knowledge representation, and reasoning environments and as the recipient of the Robert Engelmore award from the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) for leadership in Semantic Web research and in bridging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and eScience, significant contributions to deployed AI applications, and extensive service to the AI community. Deborah currently leads a number of large diverse data intensive resource efforts and her team is creating next generation ontology-enabled research infrastructure for work in large interdisciplinary settings. Prior to joining RPI, Deborah was the acting director of the Knowledge Systems, Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Senior Research Scientist in the Computer Science Department of Stanford University, and previous to that she was at AT&T Bell Laboratories. Deborah also has consulted with numerous large corporations as well as emerging startup companies wishing to plan, develop, deploy, and maintain semantic web and/or AI applications. Deborah has also worked as an expert witness in a number of cases, and has deposition and trial experience.   

Some areas of recent work include: data science, next generation health advisors, ontology design and evolution environments, semantically-enabled virtual observatories, semantic integration of scientific data, context-aware mobile applications, search, eCommerce, configuration, and supply chain management. Deborah holds a Bachelor of Math and Computer Science from Duke University, her Master of Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University.

Mark Michalski, Executive Director, MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science

Mark H. Michalski, MD, is the Executive Director of the MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science, which is focused on the application and translation of novel machine learning techniques into clinical practice. Previous to this role, Dr. Michalski held leadership and operational roles at early-stage companies in the medical software and device domain, including Butterfly Network and Hyperfine Research.  Dr. Michalski held additional strategic roles in healthcare-focused efforts at Google and Genentech.  Dr. Michalski completed his radiology residency training as a Holman Fellow at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He graduated with a degree in Cybernetics from the University of California at Los Angeles with multiple honors and received his medical degree from Stanford University. 

Linda Moineau, IT Director, The Broad Institute Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Linda Moineau is known for creating order from chaos.  As Director, IT Operational Excellence, she is applying 20 years of master data best practices in structured systems to 60+ PB of unstructured on-prem data at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The goal: a platform-agnostic, disruptive solution that enables researchers to find, access, reuse and manage data moving through the analysis pipeline.

Armaghan Naik, AVP R&D Scientific & Digital Innovation, Sanofi

Armaghan Rumi Naik, Assistant Vice President of R&D Scientific & Digital Innovation Sanofi Pasteur. With a PhD in computational biology Armaghan creates new machine learning algorithms and collaborates externally to drive merging healthcare solutions. His group at Sanofi is currently working on a broader protective influenza vaccine. Previously at Intel Armaghan developed cutting edge formal hardware validation techniques for various generations of microprocessors.

Tom Plasterer, Director of Bioinformatics, Data Science & AI, Bio Pharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca

Tom Plasterer, Ph.D., is Senior Director of Bioinformatics and BioPharmaceutical R&D at AstraZeneca. Dr. Plasterer has pursued interests in bioinformatics, clinical informatics, systems biology, and biomarker discovery over the last twenty years in both industry and academia. He co-founded PanGenX (a Personalized Medicine/ Pharmacogenetics Knowledge Base start-up), directed the project planning and data interpretation group at BG Medicine, and held an adjunct professor position in the department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Northeastern University. He now leads translational science data integration and FAIR data initiatives at AstraZeneca.

In these roles at AstraZeneca, Dr. Plasterer has been responsible for establishing and executing the FAIR data strategy which includes knowledge representation, vocabulary & metadata services, semantic visualization, analytics, and business case development. This strategy has been deployed to build competitive intelligence and integrative informatics frameworks for R&D. Dr. Plasterer also serves on the Pistoia Alliance FAIR data advisory board.

Sridevi Ponduru, Associate Medical Director, Takeda

Dr. Ponduru is a formally trained physician and scientist with significant pharmaceutical experience overseeing clinical programs spanning oncology, neurology and rare diseases. Other areas of focus include excellence in targeted therapies, immuno-oncology and leading the Access to Medicine programs. Dr. Ponduru joined Takeda in 2016 as a Global Safety Lead and is responsible for providing strategic safety leadership for the development of cancer therapies. Prior to joining Takeda, she held positions of increased responsibility in clinical drug development at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Alnylam, Biogen and Karyopharm. Dr. Ponduru is a recipient of various prestigious awards including the Multiple Myeloma Research Fellowship Award which enabled her to perform post-doctoral training at the Broad Institute after receiving medical and doctoral degrees at the University of Health Sciences in AP, India and University of Massachusetts, Lowell, USA. Her research resulted in the identification of novel class of proteasome inhibitors and HDAC therapies for hematological malignancies. Dr. Ponduru is a strong proponent of advancing patient safety through patient centric care strategies and ensuring that both patient safety and patient experience are the top priority in leading clinical development programs.

Jonathan Pryke, Senior Business Relationship Manager, AstraZeneca

Jonathan is a Senior IT Business Relationship Manager for AstraZeneca, based in Gaitherburg, Maryland, USA. After completing a Ph.D in Pharmacology, I spent 10 years in Drug Research before moving to Informatics, where I have lead multiple projects at Pfizer, Novartis and AstraZeneca focused on research and translational data management and analytics, including eLNs and LIMS, research data warehouses, and data visualization tools. Most recently, at AstraZeneca, I have partnered with their research community to investigate the utility and benefit of semantic technologies and linked data approaches, and promote the adoption of FAIR data principles.

John Quackenbush, Chair of the Biostatistics Department, Harvard School of Public Health

John Quackenbush is Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Professor of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

John’s PhD was in Theoretical Physics, in 1992 he received a fellowship from the National Institutes of Health to work on the Human Genome Project, which led him from the Salk Institute to Stanford University to The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) before moving to Harvard in 2005. John’s research uses massive data from DNA sequencing and other assays to model functional networks in human cells. By comparing networks between groups of individuals, he has found new drug targets, explored chemotherapy resistance, and investigated differences between the sexes. He has made pioneering discoveries about how the genetic variants work together to determine our traits.

John has published more than 280 papers; his work has been cited more than 65,000 times. He has received numerous awards for his work, including recognition in 2013 as a White House Open Science Champion of Change. He is also the co-founder of Genospace, a precision medicine software company that was purchased by the Hospital Corporation of America in 2017.

Varenka Rodriguez DiBlasi, Senior Scientist, Boehringer Ingelheim

Varenka Rodriguez DiBlasi, Ph.D. is a Data Scientist focused on Computational Biology. She heads the Exploratory Bioinformatics Group within the Cancer Immunology & Immune Modulation Department at Boehringer Ingelheim in Ridgefield, CT. Her group aims to identify novel target leads with first in class therapeutic potential by utilizing computational biology methods. She also collaborates with biologists to enable multi-omics study design and analysis to validate these targets.

Prior to working at Boehringer Ingelheim she worked in the pharmaceutical industry setting ( Pfizer in Cambridge, MA and at Infinity Pharmaceuticals) and academic settings (Northeastern University, Harvard Medical School, and Johns Hopkins Medical School). Varenka obtained a B.S in Biochemistry from Northeastern University, a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine- Epigenetics & Computational Biology (Andrew Feinberg Lab) from Johns Hopkins Medical School, and is enrolled in various Machine Learning/AI certificate programs via MIT. She is passionate about advancing drug discovery through application of computational methods to challenging problems in collaboration with project teams.

Philip C Ross, Director, Head of Translational Bioinformatics Data Science, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Philip Ross works at Bristol-Myers Squibb as Director, Head of Translational Bioinformatics Data Science.  During his 8 years at BMS, his team has delivered dynamic clinical visualizations incorporating clinical and biomarker data for clinical drug and biomarker development programs.  Philip developed Clinical Review and siMDR at BMS, Spotfire applications supporting near-real-time visualizations of clinical data for all ongoing in-house clinical trials at BMS.  His team recently developed and is expanding a biomarker automation workflow to accelerate access to nongenomic biomarker data.  He currently is a leader in the expansion of data lakes and data mining capabilities for clinical and biomarker data at BMS. 

Nadeem Sarwar, President, Center for Genetics Guided Dementia discovery (G2D2), Eisai

Nadeem’s expertise stems from the intersection of genomics and data sciences with collaborative business models for therapeutic discovery. He is the Founder and President of the Eisai Center for Genetics Guided Dementia Discovery (G2D2), with past executive experience in academia (Tenured Faculty, University of Cambridge), big-pharma (Senior Director, Pfizer), mid-sized pharma (VP, Eisai), and Biotech (G2D2).

Current role: Within Eisai, Nadeem has established three incremental new organizations. First, as VP and Global Head of Genetics & Human Biology, created the Integrated Human Genomics (IHGx) department, to provide human genetics support to all programs across Eisai’s pipeline. Second, as President of the Eisai AiM Institute (Andover, MA), AiM progressed two assets (E7046: immuno-oncology [partnered]; E6742: SLE) through Phase 1, discovered a new immunotherapy (E7766: IND filed), and introduced a new R&D theme in immunodementia. Finally, built upon the success of AiM, his current role is as Founder and President of G2D2: an autonomous “spin-in” biotech exclusively focused on harnessing human genetics, data sciences and precision chemistry. G2D2’s primary focus is immunodementia: genetically validated immune targets for dementia. It is located at a new, tailored-designed 50,000 Sqft facility in Cambridge, MA. The facility was designed and constructed under Nadeem’s leadership, including the new Eisai Incubator for NeuroDiscovery (to enable Cambridge-based start-ups conducting high-risk science with potential to disrupt neuro-drug discovery).

Previous roles: Before joining Eisai, Nadeem was Senior Director, Head of Population Research & Head of Cardiometabolic Genetics, at Pfizer Inc. Prior to working in the pharmaceutical industry, Nadeem was tenured faculty at the School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge (UK). His research involved establishment of several large-scale bioresources including: The Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (2M participants); Generation Scotland (50K); The Pakistan Risk of Myocardial Infarction Study (50K); and the Botswana Pelo & HIV Initiative (1K).

Gerald Sun, Senior Data Scientist, AstraZeneca

Gerald has over a decade of diverse expertise spanning academia and industry. He works at the interface of 'wet lab' systems, cell, and molecular biology, and 'dry lab' engineering, computer science, and data science. He's currently building novel bioinformatics solutions for oncology drug discovery, leveraging his expertise in Big Data, image processing, and machine learning.

Tricia Thornton-Wells, Director, Translational Medicine, Alkermes

Tricia Thornton-Wells, Ph.D. is strategically-focused and passionate about the promotion of personalized medicine, especially in neurological and psychiatric disorders.  Her training spans statistical genetics, neuroscience, biomedical informatics and neuroimaging, and her research has focused on the integration of rich genomic and phenotypic data for understanding disk risk, progression and treatment response.  In her career in biopharma, Tricia has championed creative biomarker solutions, innovative clinical study designs and impactful multimodal data analyses to inform target discovery, asset decision-making and commercialization strategy.

Mera Tilley, Translational Geneticist, Foresite Capital

Mera Tilley is a genetic epidemiologist leading the creation of precision medicine-based biotechs. Before joining Foresite Labs in 2019, she did a stint in the start-up world leading translational genetic strategies at Goldfinch Bio, a Third Rock Ventures company. Prior to Goldfinch, she spent 6 years at Pfizer applying human genetics for drug target discovery and clinical development. Prior to Pfizer, she was at the National Human Genome Research Institute, where she developed new methods for analyzing rare variants in DNA sequence data to discover novel genetic causes of coronary artery disease. During her early career, she trained in a variety of fields, including molecular biology, bioinformatics, and science policy. 

Nuray Yurt, Executive Director, Enterprise Analytics & Data Science, Novartis

As a leader in oncology, Novartis treats more than 25 conditions worldwide and approximately 30 compounds in development. Nuray heads up the team of US Advanced Analytics and Data Science, she is a committed leader with superior analytical and quantitative aptitudes combined with critical and strategic thinking. She and her team have a passion for conversion of analytics into business strategy through high-level academic knowledge and communication.

Shanrong Zhao, Director, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Pfizer

More than twenty years of experience in bioinformatics with strong interdisciplinary skills in computer science, biostatistics, computational biology and chemistry. Shanrong got his Ph.D. from The Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a second M.S in computer science from San Diego State University. He is a recognized pioneer in next generation sequencing, big data analysis, cloud computing and machine learning. In the past five years, he published more than 20 papers in the field of RNA sequencing and was invited to speak at more than 30 national and international meetings. Shanrong has led multiple cross-functional teams to successfully implement pipelines and informatics systems for large-scale genomic data analysis to support drug discovery.