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Bioinformatics Meetup – Where Industry and Academia Meet

Big Data | 28. 7. 2017 by Bitton, Danny

Earlier this week, world experts in bioinformatics gathered in the Prague Congress Center in Vyšehrad and shared recent developments in the field with their fellow scientists. The inspiring scientific seminars encompassed a wide range of novel algorithms, pipelines, analyses and visualization tools alongside many other computational and statistical methodologies that facilitate biological discoveries from basic research to translational and personalized medicine. To share some of this exciting research with our Prague IT colleagues and to bring industry and academic experts close together, Dr. Jakub Kotowski, Adam Sotona and Dr. Danny Asher Bitton organized in MSD IT premisses a follow-up meeting with experts in various research niches.

 

The meeting began with an overview of MSD activity around the globe by Richard Dobis (MSD IT) and continued with Dr. Michal Okoniewski (ETH Zurich), who described the technological challenges associated with big data genomics and analytics in the Swiss Personalized Health program. The session continued with Dr. Amrapali Zaveri from Maastricht University, who discussed crowdsourcing as a method to improve biomedical metadata quality by non-expert workers. Thereafter, Ivan Ermilov from Leipzig University took the audience through the Big Data European platform that allows management and analysis of large-scale datasets from a diverse set of domains.

 

It was Dr. Dominic Clark from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Cambridge UK, who provided an overview of the EMBL-EBI resources, which are of particular relevance to our industry. In his talk he also highlighted the EMBL-EBI Industry Programme, which our employees could participate in. The audience who consisted of a unique blend of university students, scientists, and IT experts also benefited from the fantastic closing presentation by Dr. Anne Mai Wasserman, an Associate Principal Scientist in the cheminformatics group at our company who covered the process of high-throughput phenotypic screening of small molecule as an approach for identifying new leads. Following the presentations, the speakers together with Dr. Greg Temesi, Jens Christensen, Vita Santrucek (all from MSD IT) and Dr. Laleh Kazemzadeh (Insight Centre, Galway) formed a panel of domain experts that answered tough questions, which in turn shed light on opportunities and challenges that we currently face in the big data genomics and analytic era.

 

Finally, the meetup goal was to serve as the spark that ignites these interactions between the two sectors, so we truly hope that it will be the cornerstone for future fruitful collaborations between the parties.

 

Presentations from this event can be found HERE

 

 

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