Computational Genomics Conference

April 28, 2021 @ 1:00 pm – 6:15 pm
Zoom Webinar

Registration Link:

Networking Session Link: (the space will be become active at 5:15 pm EST on the 28th). Watch a short video on Gather.Town to become familiar with the platform.

Computational and data science technologies are changing the landscape of genetic and genomic research. With resources like cloud computing and big data storage, scientists are able to investigate complex questions and work towards ensuring genetic and genomic advances benefit all. This workshop will feature a series of speakers sharing their expertise through use cases and discussing the funding mechanisms to support research and training programs. Our keynote speaker and successive sessions will provide an overview of computational and data sciences with an outlook on where the fields are headed. Join us on Zoom for a day filled with informative sessions and networking opportunities on Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 from 01:00 p.m. – 06:15- p.m. EST.

Workshop Schedule

Start End Details
01:00 p.m. 01:15 p.m. Welcome and Introductory Remarks from the Organizers
01:15 p.m. 01:45 p.m. Plenary Speaker Andrea Norris
01:45 p.m. 02:00 p.m. Break
02:00 p.m. 03:15 p.m. Research Use Cases
03:15 p.m. 03:30 p.m. Break
03:30 p.m. 04:45 p.m. Funding Discussion Panel and Q&A
04:45 p.m. 05:00 p.m. Break
05:00 p.m. 05:30 p.m. Closing Reflection and Future Directions Alexander Titus
05:30 p.m. 06:15 p.m. Networking Session


Andrea T. Norris

Ms. Norris serves as the Director, Center for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the National Institutes of Health. As the NIH CIO, she provides oversight of NIH’s $1 billion IT portfolio that supports scientific research and discovery. She also oversees the implementation of NIH’s STRIDES (Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability) Initiative, which establishes partnerships with commercial cloud service providers to reduce economic and technological barriers to accessing and computing on large biomedical data sets to accelerate biomedical advances.

As the Director, Center for Information Technology, she is responsible for managing a broad range of NIH-wide information and information technology services, including a 100-gigabit high-speed research network infrastructure, a high-performance scientific computing system ranked as one of the top supercomputers in the world by TOP500, collaboration and communication platforms and tools, bioinformatics research programs, business solutions and applications, and 24 x7 operations of NIH’s distributed IT environment.

Prior to her tenure at NIH, Ms. Norris spent more than 10 years at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where, in her roles as Acting CIO and Director of IT services, she was responsible for establishing the foundation’s strategy, policies, and programs and managing its information technology systems and services. One of her most notable roles before joining NSF, was the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Management for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where she provided senior leadership and management of NASA’s complex $2 billion information technology portfolio. Prior to joining the federal government, Ms. Norris was a management consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton and served on the President’s Private Sector Commission on Cost Control.

In 2020, Ms. Norris was selected as a Fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). In 2019, she received the Presidential Rank Award from the White House and the Senior Executives Association. She also received the President’s Meritorious Service Award in 2008.

Ms. Norris has an M.B.A. with a major in Information Systems Management from the George Washington University and a B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary.

Alexander Titus

LinkedIn Alexander Titus is a strategic business executive at Google Cloud where he leads healthcare and life sciences strategy for the global public sector, as well as AI/ML applications for public sector missions. Prior to Google, Titus was the inaugural Assistant Director for Biotechnology within the Office of the Under Secretary for Defense (Research & Engineering), where he led the team developing the DoD’s roadmap towards biotechnology modernization.

Titus’ career has woven between the private sector, public sector, and academia. Previously, hehas served as an AI/ML Research Fellow on the Amazon Alexa AI team as well as in the B.Next group at the strategic investment firm In-Q-Tel, and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at Georgetown University and Biotechnology at the University of New Hampshire. Titus holds a PhD in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences from Dartmouth College, as well as a BS and BA in Biochemistry and Biology, respectively, from the University of Puget Sound.

Christoph Gorgulla

Dr. Christoph Gorgulla is a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University, and associated with the Harvard Medical School and the Physics Department. He develops and applies new computational and quantum physics-based methods for drug discovery.

Genes and the proteins which they encode play a role in most functions of our body and in most diseases. Yet finding small molecules binding to these proteins to find cures is highly challenging when traditional experimental approaches are used. We have therefore developed VirtualFlow, a computational drug discovery platform, which is able to mitigate these problems. VirtualFlow is able to virtually screen billions of small molecules against any given target protein to identify exceptionally tight binding molecules. In this talk we will summarize the basics of molecular docking and virtual screenings, what VirtualFlow is able to do, and discuss potential applications of the platform.

Ankit Malhotra

Ankit Malhotra is the biomedical research and life sciences lead on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Research team. At AWS, Ankit helps lower the barrier for biomedical researchers to build solutions and do their research using cloud computing. Before joining AWS, Ankit was a Staff Scientist at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine where he led a group developing algorithms for analysis of next generation sequencing data to determine the spectrum of genetic variation in humans and how it contributes to diseases such as cancer. With a PostDoctrate and Ph.D. in biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics and a Masters in computer science from the University of Virginia, he has over 10 years of experience as a NIH and DoD-funded computational genomic scientist. He has authored more than 26 publications in the field with over 17000 citations.

Hatem Nawar

Hatem Nawar is a Google Cloud Customer Engineer focusing on Life Sciences & Genomics. In his role he works with researchers and organizations enabling them to use Google’s capabilities in big data, compute, analytics and machine learning in critical areas of study and research. Prior to Google, Hatem held various technical positions at Nokia, Intel and Siemens. Hatem holds an MBA from the American University in Cairo and BSc of Computer Science from Cairo University.

Stephanie Rogers

Stephanie Rogers, Ph.D., is a Senior Science and Technology Advisor in OUSD R&E for the Biotechnology Modernization prioritization area. In this role, she leads the technical development of the DoD Biotechnology Modernization Roadmap, which builds the strategy to accelerate the development, testing, and evaluation of biotechnology prototypes for defense applications including warfighting systems and materials, warfighter performance, military medicine, and chem/bio defense. Prior to this role, Dr. Rogers served nine years at In-Q-Tel (IQT), the strategic investor for the US national security community and its allies. Her most recent role at IQT was Vice President of IQT Labs Operations and Bioinformatics, where she led the day-to-day operations of IQT’s applied research lab focused on the application of AI for national security. Previous roles included Deputy Director of B.Next (IQT’s strategic initiative focused on epidemic detection and response), and Senior Program Manager, where she managed biological and chemical investments in IQT's field deployable technologies portfolio. Prior to IQT, Dr. Rogers was invited by the FBI to serve as a fellow in the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Visiting Scientist Program. In this role, she managed and conducted research projects in human forensics and microbiology for the FBI’s Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit. Dr. Rogers holds a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Oklahoma State University.

Joseph Buccina

Joe Buccina is a Director of Intelligence Community Support and B.Next Operations at In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit company which discovers and invests in innovative technology for the U.S. intelligence community. The B.Next team focuses on leveraging biotechnology to enhance national security. Buccina serves as the B.Next lead for customer engagement and team operations. Before joining the B.Next team, he was an IQT program manager for IQT’s biotech portfolio and a range of other technology areas; he worked with start-up companies to deliver enhanced products that drove mission impact for the intelligence community.

For five years prior to IQT, Buccina was a consultant for PRTM and PwC, where he worked on biodefense and national security projects for the federal government, along with strategy and operations projects for life sciences companies. He also has experience working at a biosurveillance start-up company. In 2014, he was a fellow in the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative (ELBI), sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security; ELBI identifies, develops, and provides networking opportunities to the next generation of leaders in biosecurity.

Buccina has an M.S. in Bioinformatics from Johns Hopkins University (JHU). He also has an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from JHU’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. in Political Science from Williams College.

Ken Wiley Jr

Dr. Ken Wiley joined the Division of Genomic Medicine (DGM) as a program director in 2014. He is responsible for managing a portfolio of extramural grants and contracts related to pharmacogenomics, epigenomics and clinical informatics. He works on the following projects at the DGM: the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Initiative; the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network; the Catalog of Published Genome Wide Association Studies; and the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database.

Prior to joining the DGM, Dr. Wiley leveraged his expertise in pharmacology and informatics to assist the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Booz Allen Hamilton and Harvard University.

Dr. Wiley received his Ph.D. in pharmacology in 2004 from Meharry Medical College, in collaboration with the University of Iowa.