Healthcare @ IBM Research | Australia - News


Special seminar: Genomic Analysis in an Era of Ubiquitous Sequencing

Tom Conway is invited to present Genomic Analysis in an Era of Ubiquitous Sequencing at University of Melbourne. 

Abstract: Genomics technologies have the power to transform an abundance of industries, from Healthcare to Agriculture, to Biosecurity, among others. The costs of genome sequencing are falling at an unprecedented rate and focus is shifting to the difficulties of data analysis, which have traditionally required advanced bioinformatics expertise. However, in order to truly realise the potential of genomic technologies we need tools that will empower bioinformatics naïve personnel and enable reliable data interpretation with minimal user-interaction time. Crucially these tools should provide; 1) automated and intuitive analysis execution; 2) automated data file, metadata and results management; 3) automated report generation, including intuitive visualisation of results and; 4) robust record-keeping.

IBM Research - Australia is developing a Scalable Enterprise Genomics Platform, with which we aim to fulfil the data analysis and management requirements of routine, high-throughput enterprise genomics use-cases. Our aim is to enable users to produce reliable actionable information by focusing on the desired outcome or question of interest, rather than the technical analysis details. The platform has been designed such that it can be readily customised for a broad range of applications in collaboration with the relevant domain-specific experts. Additionally there is an opportunity to develop and integrate new and/or improved domain specific analysis modules, advanced data visualisation tools and higher level analytics.

Details for the seminar are:

Date and time: 12.00 – 1.00pm, Wednesday 10th September
Venue: Theatre 1, Ground Floor, Alan Gilbert building (cnr. Barry and Grattan sts)



New IBM executive report: "The evolving promise of genomic medicine"

After the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, early successes in genomic medicine fell short of the initial high expectations. But today, a potent mix of influences — including innovation in biology and technology and market demand and consumerism — is furthering an evolution that crosses industries. Healthcare providers can now personalize care plans thanks to lower sequencing costs that allow genomic data to be combined with electronic health data. Likewise, life sciences companies can now develop targeted therapies that prevent and alleviate disease symptoms.

Click here to read the report.


Australian Society of Microbiology, Annual Meeting -- July 2014

This year Melbourne hosted the annual meeting of the ASM, where microbiology researchers across Australia convened to discuss their latest work and current trends. Highlights included the public lecture by Sir Gustav Nossal, “Vaccination: global good of wasteful peril?” the plenary lecture by Sheila Lukehart (Professor of Medicine and Global Health, University of Washington), “Syphilis: antigenic variation and diversity in Treponema,” and the proferred paper by Sarah Baines, “A genomics approach to understanding the evolution of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus sequence type 239 in Australia.”

In collaboration with researchers at the University of Melbourne, IBM Research – Australia was pleased to deliver the poster presentation, “Capsular locus variability among a multi-drug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae clone.”


Clinical Genomics Analysis and Medical Informatics Workshops, Haifa -- June 2014

This month one of our Genomics researchers travelled to Israel to attend two workshops at the local IBM Research laboratory. The first workshop showcased topics related to the use of genomics in clinical, public health and pharmaceutical settings; where leading industry and academic researchers discussed recent achievements and current challenges. The second day comprised topics related to the application of advanced analytics and informatics in the healthcare industry. Highlights included the keynote seminar by Isaac Kohane (Professor of Pediatrics & Health Sciences Technology, Harvard Medical School), “The American way to a learning healthcare system,” and the seminar by William Bishai (Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis Research) describing the use of genomics to understand the evolution of the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

IBM Research – Australia was pleased to deliver a poster presentation, “Enabling enterprise scale genomics practice - not just an analysis problem,” and a live demonstration of our Cognitive Healthcare Hub.


Our researchers won LifeCLEF 2014 challenge -- June 2014

Congratulations to Qiang Chen, Mani Abedini, Rahil Garnavi and Xi Liang who won the first, second and third places in the challenge of LifeCLEF 2014. The task in the challenge was to identify plant species which is a very difficult task, even for professionals (such as farmers or wood exploiters) or for the botanists themselves. The team applied image retrieval technologies to reduce this taxonomic gap and advanced the information retrieval community on this challenging task.