AllerGen Webinars




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Bioinformatics for Discovery and Global Collaborations:

Approaches and Lessons Learned

with Yuri Quintana, PhD

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

Changes in global disease trends and demographics are creating unprecedented challenges to the delivery of healthcare and biomedical research worldwide.

New technologies have allowed us to collect large amounts of data, but making that information useful for clinical care and global research remains a challenge.

In this webinar, Dr. Yuri Quintana, PhD, will present some different approaches to biomedical informatics and innovations in big-data platforms for biomedical research.

He will provide an overview of the implementation of collaborative data sharing platforms for pediatrics, senior care, and oncology, and examine challenges in establishing and sustaining these networks in developed and developing countries.

Yuri Quintana, PhD, is Director for Global Health Informatics in the Division of Clinical Informatics, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Harvard University.

His research is focused on developing innovative technologies that empower patients, families and health professionals. He is leading the development of global health networks such as InfosSAGE for elder care coordination; Alicanto, a social learning network used by OPENPediatrics, a global pediatric education network; and MADCaP, a global prostate cancer and genomic research network.

Previously, he was at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he developed Cure4Kids, a global pediatric cancer education and collaboration website used by thousands of health professionals, and Cure4Kids for Kids, an interactive mobile app and website for promoting healthy lifestyles for children.

Dr. Quintana was a principal investigator in the Canadian HealNet Research Network, and also served as director of the New Media Research Lab developing innovations in interactive media and online education. He has held high-tech positions at IBM and Watcom. He obtained his engineering degrees from the University of Waterloo in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Systems Design Engineering.




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Pushing Data Uphill:

Overcoming Barriers to Large-scale Biomedical Data Use

with Eric Perakslis, PhD

Monday, April 9, 2018

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Dr. Erik Perakslis, PhD, will discuss challenges to realizing the rich promise of collaborative data science, and strategies to overcome them.

Over the past decade, great progress has been made in collaborative data science. To the benefit of scientists with large datasets that could be leveraged for research and discovery, open source platforms such as i2b2 and tranSMART have flourished and are providing low-cost entry into previously complex biomedical data use cases. However, challenges of cost, access, completeness, interoperability, security and privacy are still daunting.

In this presentation, Dr. Perakslis will review current technologies and methodologies for building effective bioinformatics platforms; he will share best practices for overcoming the challenges listed above, with tips and lessons learned from his experience; and he will highlight opportunities for brave new approaches to overcome current technological barriers and compliance issues.

Eric Perakslis (PhD) is currently Chief Science Officer at Datavant, a technology company dedicated to organizing and integrating the world’s healthcare data, and Visiting Scientist at the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School. He is a research, informatics, technology and R&D leader with over 20 years of direct experience in information technology, informatics, research, healthcare, government regulation, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals discovery and development. He was previously Senior Vice President Data Sciences at Takeda R&D and served as the CIO and Chief Scientist (Informatics) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.




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Deep, Single-Cell Profiling by Mass Cytometry (CyTOF)

with Mark Hamer

Moderated by Dr. Kelly McNagny

Monday, May 28, 2018

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

Mark Hamer will share his expertise in the use of mass cytometry (CyTOF) for the “deep profiling” of single cells, and for gaining deeper insight into complex cell populations.

His presentation will illustrate the depth of information that is accessible through this technology. Mark will highlight CyTOF’s capacity to overcome the technical limitations inherent in fluorescence-based phenotyping. He will draw from extensive experience using flow cytometry and mass cytometry tools and conducting the related analysis of high-dimensional data.

This webinar will be of interest to investigators and trainees seeking to enhance their understanding of innovative new research tools and technologies available within the AllerGen Network.

Mark Hamer, MSc., is a laboratory scientist and technician based in the Biomedical Research Centre of The University of British Columbia. He is intimately familiar with the operation, maintenance, and experimental applications of the CyTOF2 mass cytometer, with the management of a growing CyTOF facility and its protocols, and with the analysis of high-dimensional data using R, Cytobank and Matlab–based applications.

Dr. Kelly McNagny, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and Co-Director of the Biomedical Research Centre at The University of British Columbia. Within AllerGen, he is Associate Scientific Director and a Research Co-leader for the Biomarkers & Bioinformatics Enabling Platform. Dr. McNagny’s work focuses on stem cell behavior, inflammatory disease, cancer biology and therapeutics.




This webinar has already taken place. Click here to access related resources.

The Future of Data Science

and Bioinformatics-Anchored Advances in Human Health

with Yves A. Lussier, MD, FACMI

Monday, June 11, 2018

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Dr. Yves A. Lussier, MD, FACMI, will explore the relevance of bioinformatics, computational biology and data science strategies to current and future advances in human health, especially in the context of personalized medicine.

Dr. Lussier will share some of his experiences with R&D involving immunity, genes, and environment, and will offer insights into the leading research groups, the most important conferences, and the best venues for world-class training in translational bioinformatics, computational biology, and data science impacting precision medicine.

Recommended readings for this webinar:

Yves A. Lussier (MD, FACMI) is is Associate Vice President for Health Sciences and Chief Knowledge Officer for University of Arizona (UA) Health Science, Executive Director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics, Associate Director of BIO5 informatics for the UA BIO5 Institute, and Chief Knowledge Officer for the Lussier Group. He is a professional engineer and physician-scientist, an international expert in translational bioinformatics and a pioneer in research informatics techniques, including systems biology, data representation through ontologies and high-throughput methods in personalized medicine.

He has authored over 150 publications, with research repeatedly featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Lussier was inducted Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics in 2005, and in 2013, he was also recognized by the Obama Administration among ten scientists invited at the White House for their contribution to precision medicine. He mentored more than 90 graduate and post-graduate candidates and delivered more than 100 invited presentations and conference keynotes in precision medicine, systems medicine and translational bioinformatics.




Participation Information


Joining and participating in an AllerGen webinar is simple and intuitive, and you will be emailed instructions. The information below is provided so you know what to expect, and for those who like to be prepared well in advance.

Where do I have to be? What device or equipment will I need?

To participate in an AllerGen webinar, you need to set yourself up at a computer (PC or Mac) or a mobile device with Internet access (high-speed and wired is recommended, rather than WiFi). The visual presentation will appear on your monitor/screen. For the audio, you can either use your computer/device’s capacities (a headset with a microphone is recommended), or call in by telephone (instructions for this will be provided in an email prior to the event).

What platform will we be using?

The webinars will be delivered using GoToWebinar. You will be required to download software onto your computer or mobile device in order to participate. You can download the software in advance anytime by following these instructions, or you can download the software when you join the webinar.

How do I join the webinar?

Upon registering, you will receive an email with instructions and a link to follow in order to join the webinar.

How do I take part during the webinar?

As an attendee of the webinar, you will be able to view and hear the presentation, and you will have access to a control panel by which to electronically “raise your hand” or type a question. The organizer can then transmit your question to the presenter, or unmute you to allow you to speak.

Can you provide me with even more preparatory information?

Of course! Here is an Attendee Guide in PDF, and here is a QuickStart video for attendees, both from GoToWebinar.