Symposium Slides

More Info

Abstract Book

More Info

Symposium Photos

More Info

Symposium Blog

More Info

Welcome to the first annual Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Institute for Computational Biology (ICB) Symposium and Workshop!  This year, we are highlighting emerging topics in precision medicine.  Precision or personalized medicine is the incorporation of ‘omic data into clinical practice to better predict, prevent, and treat disease at the individual level.  Earlier this year, the White House announced the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), an ambitious research endeavor that aims to ascertain and follow 1 million Americans with the purpose of studying variations in genes, environment, and lifestyle that impact risk of disease and response to interventions or treatments.  A major component of PMI will be the collection of clinical data on participants through electronic health records and the linkage of ‘omic data to these records for clinical care.

The recent availability of electronic health records and the affordability of ‘omic data generation make precision medicine possible.  However, before precision medicine can be fully and effectively implemented for the benefit of all patients, a host of topics must be explored through PMI and other research efforts.  To discuss these emerging issues, we have brought together several leading experts in precision medicine to discuss specific topics ranging from use of electronic health records in research settings, application of research findings in a clinical setting, ethics and health disparities, and statistical and computational challenges and opportunities.  Because precision medicine will involve physicians, researchers, trainees, and patients, the target audience is expected to represent a broad and diverse range of expertise from in and around northeastern Ohio. 

Please join us on September 22, 2015 for this one-day event at the Kelvin + Eleanor Smith Ballroom in Tinkham Veale University Center.

Vence Bonham, Jr, JD

Dr. Vence Bonham is Senior Advisor to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Director on Genomics and Health Disparities.  Dr. Bonham is also Associate Investigator in the NHGRI Social and Behavioral Research Branch and Head of the Health Disparities Unit.  Dr. Bonham’s research interests the translation of genomic findings into the clinic and how that translation impacts health disparities.  Dr. Bonham’s research team uses qualitative and quantitative methods to develop measurement tools grounded in theory (race and social cognitive), public health law, law, genomics, and clinical decision-making. Learn more...

Jonathan L. Haines, PhD

Dr. Jonathan Haines is Mary W. Sheldon, MD, Professor of Genome Sciences; Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; and Director of the Institute for Computational Biology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  Dr. Haines is a genetic epidemiologist with a focus on adapting and applying statistical computational approaches to identify genetic variants and their modifiers that impact common human diseases with a focus on ocular and neurological diseases including age-related macular degeneration, primary open angle glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, autism, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few.  Dr. Haines is also active in Big Data science and electronic health records research and was the previous principal investigator of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)-funded electronic MEdical Records & GEnomics (eMERGE) Coordinating Center.  More recently, Dr. Haines founded the CWRU Institute for Computational Biology (ICB) as part of a multi-institutional funded effort involving Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), University of Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and MetroHealth.  Physically located at CWRU, the ICB aims to bring together electronic health records data in a de-identified environment to be accessed by investigators for research purposes.  The ICB also aims to provide educational opportunities and resources such as databasing capabilities and the development of statistical methods for big data analysis.  Dr. Haines has several accolades in recognition of his discoveries including the Zenith Award for Excellence in Alzheimer’s Disease Research (1993) and the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Sidney P. Colowick Award for Research in Diverse Areas (2005).  Dr. Haines was named a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010. Learn More...

Blanca E. Himes, PhD

Dr. Blanca Himes is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Himes is also affiliated with the Graduate Group in Genomics and Computational Biology.  As a computational scientist, Dr. Himes’ research interests focus on using biomedical informatics approaches to better understand complex respiratory diseases such as asthma.  Among the on-going projects in the Himes lab include understanding the function of disease-associated genes by altering cell-specific transcriptomes, integrating diverse genomic datasets to model cellular transcriptome changes involved in disease, and using geospatial demographic and environmental data to better understand factors that contribute to asthma prevalence and exacerbation.  In addition to research, Dr. Himes is active in mentoring students, and she blogs occasionally to address topics posed by young students such as career advice, personal motivation for doing research, and parenthood.  Dr. Himes’ research potential and leadership skills have been recognized with the UCSD Sang-keng Ma Memorial Award (2001) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology Student Leadership Award (2007).  Learn more...

Casey L Overby, PhD

Dr. Casey Overby is Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland and an Adjunct Investigator I in the Geisinger Health System.  At the University of Maryland, Dr. Overby is a faculty member in the Program for Personalized and Genomic Medicine and the Center for Health-related Informatics and Bio-imaging, and she is affiliated with the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computing Studies.  As an informaticist, Dr. Overby’s research interests intersect at public health genetics and biomedical informatics.  Dr. Overby is currently developing applications that support translation of genomic research to clinical and population-based healthcare settings and delivering health information and knowledge to the public. Dr. Overby is also developing knowledge-based approaches to use Big Data such as electronic health records for population health.  Learn more...

Marylyn D. Ritchie, PhD, MS

Dr. Marylyn Ritchie is Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director, Center for Systems Genomics at the Pennsylvania State University.  Dr. Ritchie is also Director of the new Biomedical and Translational Informatics at Geisinger Clinic.  Dr. Ritchie’s research interests as a statistical geneticist include the development and application of novel statistical and computational methods to identify genetic variants associated with human diseases.  Dr. Ritchie’s lab places a special emphasis on the development of methods to detect gene-gene interactions, gene-environment interactions, and network/pathway effects associated with disease.  Dr. Ritchie has extensive experience in Big Data science and the use of electronic health records in genomic research.  Dr. Ritchie has been the electronic MEdical Records & GEnomics (eMERGE) Coordinating Center genomics lead for the past eight years.  Dr. Ritchie’s other accomplishments include being named Genome Technology’s “Rising Young Investigator” (2006), a Sloan Research Fellow (2010), and a Kavli Frontiers in Sciences fellow by the National Academy of Science (2011-2014).  Dr. Ritchie was most recently named Thomas Reuters Most Highly Cited Researchers in 2014.  Learn more...

William C.L. Stewart, PhD, MS

Dr. William Stewart is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University.  Dr. Stewart is also Principal Investigator at The Research Institute of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and a faculty member of the Battelle Center for Mathematical Medicine.  Dr. Stewart’s broad research interests include the development of statistical models for quick and efficient analyses of complex datasets, deterministic math models, gene networks, and problems in computational molecular biology.  Learn more...