AI, big data researchers to meet with health experts in health symposium

October 03, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Researchers with expertise in artificial intelligence, data sciences and informatics will come together with biomedical, clinical and population health researchers to explore challenges, opportunities and best practices for collaboration at an upcoming symposium.

Penn State’s “Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Data Sciences and Informatics for Precision Health: Research Challenges and Opportunities” will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 20 in the Westgate Building (room E203) on the University Park campus. Registration is requested by Oct. 13.

The event will include keynote talks, a poster session, and time for informal interactions, with an eye toward high-impact collaborative projects aimed at advancing, applying and evaluating novel methods, tools and infrastructure for harnessing the power of data to improve individual and population health.

Vasant Honavar, professor and Edward Frymoyer Chair of Information Sciences and Technology, helped to organize the symposium.

“The symposium offers an opportunity for the Penn State community to hear from some of the nation’s experts in biomedical data sciences and reflect on how we can leverage our collective strengths, expertise and resources to address pressing research challenges in improving individual and population health outcomes,” said Honavar.

Topics to be covered in the keynote talks and panel discussions include advanced methods and tools for biomedical image and text analyses, machine learning and causal inference; integrative analyses of clinical, biomedical, environmental, social-demographic and behavioral data; applications in understanding, predicting and improving health risks and intervention outcomes, as well as the relevant data privacy, ethics and public policy considerations.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Mark Craven, professor in the department of biostatistics and medical informatics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also serves as director of the Center for Predictive Computational Phenotyping, one of the National Institutes of Health’s Centers of Excellence for Big Data Computing, and director of the Computation and Informatics in Biology and Medicine (CIBM) training program.
  • George Hripcsak, chair of the department of biomedical informatics at Columbia University and director of medical informatics services for New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia campus. He also leads the coordinating center of Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI), an international network with 200 researchers and 600 million patient records.
  • Brandon Fornwalt, associate professor and director of the cardiac imaging technology laboratory within Geisinger Health System’s department of imaging science and innovation.
  • Dimitris Metaxas, distinguished professor in the department of computer science at Rutgers University and director of the Center for Computational Biomedicine, Imaging and Modeling.

According to Honavar, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests a person’s health depends not only on individual characteristics but also behavioral, environmental and contextual factors.

“The wide adoption of electronic health records in clinical care, coupled with advances in sensors, genomics and data analytics offers enormous potential for understanding and predicting health risks and intervention outcomes, personalizing treatments, tracking and responding to disease outbreaks, informing policy and healthcare practice and ultimately enhancing health,” Honavar said.

“Realizing the promise and potential of such data to significantly mitigate health risks and improve health outcomes requires advances in artificial intelligence, data sciences, machine learning and informatics for integrative analysis of health-relevant data from disparate sources,” he concluded. “Penn State has significant strengths in many of these areas.”

The symposium is sponsored by Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, the College of Health and Human Development, the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, the Institute for CyberScience, and the Center for Big Data Analytics and Discovery Informatics and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 30, 2018