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NIH Data Science Distinguished Seminar Series

This dynamic lecture series brings high-profile researchers and experts to the NIH main campus to exemplify the roles that integration of the computational and the quantitative sciences play in the today’s most innovative biomedical research, health research policy development, and sustainable research practices.

Upcoming Seminars:

Mathematics of Biomedical Data Science

Thursday, May18, 2017 1:00pm - 2:00pm ET | NIH Clinical Center, Building 10, Masur Auditorium, NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD

Speaker: Bonnie Berger, Ph.D., Simons Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract:  The last two decades have seen an exponential increase in genomic and biomedical data, which are outstripping advances in computing power. Extracting new science from these massive datasets will require not only faster computers; it will require algorithms that scale sublinearly in the size of the datasets. We introduce a novel class of algorithms that are able to scale with the entropy and low fractal dimension of the dataset by taking advantage of the unique structure of massive biological data to operate directly on compressed data. These algorithms can be used to address large-scale challenges in genomics, metagenomics and chemogenomics.

About the Speaker:

Bonnie Berger photo

Dr. Bonnie Berger is the Simons Professor of Mathematics at MIT with a joint appointment in Computer Science. After beginning her career working in algorithms at MIT, she was one of the pioneer researchers in computational biology and, together with the many students she has mentored, has been instrumental in defining the field. She continues to lead efforts to design algorithms to gain biological insights from recent advances in automated data collection and the subsequent large data sets drawn from them. She has received numerous honors including: election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the NIH Margaret Pittman Director’s Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement & Lectureship, Biophysical Society's Dayhoff Award, Technology Review Magazine's inaugural TR100 as a top young innovator, ACM Fellow, ISCB Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellow, NSF Career Award and Honorary Doctorate from EPFL. She over the last years has served as Vice President of ISCB, on the NIH NIGMS and NCBI Advisory Councils, and as Head of the Steering Committee for RECOMB.

Event Information: New Date and Location! This year's Pi Day celebration was postponed due to inclement weather on March 14. Events will now be held on May 18, 2017. This lecture is part of a full day of scheduled events and activities for NIH's 3rd annual celebration of Pi Day, which celebrates the intersection between the quantitative and biomedical sciences. Pi Day is an annual celebraton of the irrational number Pi, 3.14..., on March 14. On Pi Day and every day, NIH recognizes the importance of building a diverse biomedical workforce with the quantitative skills required to tackle future challenges. For more information, vistit: https://nihpiday.nih.gov

Videocast: This event will be videocast

Attending the seminar: This is a public event at the National Institutes of Health. All individuals interested in the seminar may attend. If this will be your first time visiting the NIH, we strongly encourage you to review the visitor information at: http://www.nih.gov/about/visitor/index.htm and allow extra time for security and transit. Individuals with disabilities who need Sign Language Interpreters and/or reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Jacqueline Roberts at Jacqueline.Roberts@nih.gov 301-594-6747, or the Federal Relay, 800-877-8339. Requests should be made at least 5 business days in advance of the event.

Past Seminars:

Models and Data in Biomedicine: What's Real and What's Noise? And, Why Should We Care?

Monday, March 14, 2016 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST | Lipsett Auditorum, Building 10, NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD

Speaker:  Carlos Bustamante, Ph.D., Stanford University

Abstract:  If you think of a scatterplot of data overlaid with a model for the data and ask practitioners from different fields, “what’s noise and what’s real?” the answers may surprise you. To a biologist, the data will almost surely be “what’s real” and the model is a poor approximation to the “truth.” To a physicist, the model is probably “what’s real” and the data is just a noisy realization of an underlying true physical process that we are attempting to study. As we think about the biomedical data enterprise in the 21st century and the massive amounts of data we generate (and want to analyze!), we need to support multiple world views and have guidance on how to translate noisy data and noisy models into actionable information. Dr. Bustamante's presentation will draw upon several examples from Population Genetics (a field very rich in theory) and Genomics (a field not so rich in theory and much more data driven) to illustrate these points. It will also touch upon reproducible research and the question of how  funding agencies need to support ecosystems for collaborative research, including data producers, consortia, and so called "research parasites” that may want to use the data in ways that go beyond what the original experimental designers envisioned. 

About the Speaker:

picture of carlos bustamante

Dr. Carlos Bustamante is a population geneticist whose research focuses on analyzing genome-wide patterns of variation within and between species to address fundamental questions in biology, anthropology, and medicine. From 2002-2009, he was on the faculty at Cornell University, in the Departments of Statistical Sciences and Biology Statistics and Computational Biology, where he was promoted to full professor in 2008. Since 2010, he has been on the faculty in the Department of Genetics at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

He has received multiple honors and awards including a Marshall-Sherfield Fellowship (2001-2), the Sloan Research Fellowship (2007), and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship (2010). He has trained over 50 post-doctoral fellows and graduate students as primary advisor and co-authored over 130 papers. Much of his research is located at the interface of computational biology, mathematical genetics, and evolutionary genomics.  

His most current research focuses on human population genomics and global health, including developing statistical, computational, and genomic resources for enabling trans- and multi-ethnic genome-wide association and medical sequencing studies of complex biomedical traits. He is one of the Principal Investigators of the recently announced $25M ClinGen project to build the country's National Database of Clinically Relevant Genomic Variants.

Additional Event Details: 

Event Page:  This lecture is part of a full day of scheduled events and activities for the second annual celebration of Pi Day, which celebrates the intersection between the quantitative and biomedical sciences. Pi Day is an annual celebraton of the irrational number Pi, 3.14..., on March 14. On Pi Day and every day, NIH recognizes the importance of building a diverse biomedical workforce with the quantitative skills required to tackle future challenges. For more information, vistit: https://datascience.nih.gov/PiDay2016

Videocast: This event will be videocast

BRAIN-BD2K Seminar: Towards Solutions to Experimental and Computational Challenges in Neuroscience

Friday, August 14, 2015 11:00am - 12:00pm EST | Masur Auditorum, Building 10, NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD

Speakers:
Christof Koch, Ph.D. 
President and Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science  
Emery N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D. 
Professor of Computational Neuroscience and Health Sciences and Technology, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
 MIT-Harvard Division of Health Sciences and Technology

Drs. Koch and Brown will describe the computational or experimental challenges associated with Big Data in their respective domains of neuroscience. From the basic to applied realms, science is being transformed by the collection of data on increasingly finer resolutions, both spatially and temporally. Storing, accessing, and analyzing these data create numerous challenges as well as opportunities.  

About the Speakers:

Photograph of Christof Koch
Christof Koch, Ph.D.
 is the President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. His research interests include elucidating the biophysical mechanisms underlying neural computation, understanding the mechanisms and purpose of visual attentn, and uncovering the neural basis of consciousness and the subjective mind. Dr. Koch has published extensively, and his writings and interests integrate theoretical, computational and experimental neuroscience. His most recent book, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, blends science and memoir to explore topics in discovering the roots of consciousness. Stemming in part from a long-standing collaboration with the late Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, Koch authored the book The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach. He has also authored the technical books Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons and Methods in Neuronal Modeling: From Ions to Networks, and served as editor for several books on neural modeling and information processing.

Photograph of Emery Brown
Emery N. Brown, M.D., Ph.D.
 is the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School; an anesthesiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH); and the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and Computational Neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Brown received his B.A. (magna cum laude) in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College, his M.A. and Ph.D. in statistics from Harvard University and his M.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Brown completed his internship in internal medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his residency in anesthesiology at MGH.

Dr. Brown is an anesthesiologist-statistician whose experimental research has made important contributions to understanding the neuroscience of how anesthetics act in the brain to create the states of general anesthesia, using the EEG to accurately monitor the anesthetic state and devising new approaches to precisely control the anesthetic state. Dr. Brown is also widely recognized for his statistics research in which he has developed statistical methods to analyze dynamic processes in neuroscience.

Dr. Brown served on the NIH BRAIN Initiative Working Group and is member of the International Anesthesia Research Society Board of Trustees. Dr. Brown is the recipient of an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, an NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, the 2011 Jerome Sacks Award from the National Institute of Statistical Science, 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship in Applied Mathematics and the American Society of Anesthesiologists 2015 Excellence in Research Award.

He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, the IEEE, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts Sciences. Dr. Brown is the first and only anesthesiologist to be elected a member of all three branches of the National Academies: the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine), the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. 

Additional Event Details:

Event page: https://datascience.nih.gov/events/BRAIN-BD2K

Videocast: This event will be videocast. The videocast can be accessed at http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=16695&bhcp=1

Attending the seminar: This is a public event at the National Institutes of Health. All individuals interested in the seminar may attend. If this will be your first time visiting the NIH we strongly encourage you to review the visitor information at http://www.nih.gov/about/visitor/index.htm and allow extra time for security and transit. Individuals with disabilities who need Sign Language Interpreters and/or reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Sonynka Ngosso, at (301) 402-9816. Requests should be made at least 5 business days in advance of the event.


Inaugural Seminar: The Role of the Quantitative Sciences in the Biomedical Sciences

Friday March 13, 2015 | Porter Neuroscience Research Center, Building 35, NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD

Speaker: Eric S. Lander, Ph.D.

Photograph of Eric S. Lander
Eric S. Lander, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), former member of the Whitehead Institute, and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard who has devoted his career to realizing the promise of the human genome for medicine. He is co-chair of U.S. President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Webcast: https://videocast.nih.gov/

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