May 23 2018 17:30

The adoption of big data, machine learning, and simulation software in biology and drug discovery have allowed for rapid progress in these fields. So far these technologies have aided discoveries, but can they eventually replace human effort and experiments?

We are inviting a panel of experts at the forefront of these technologies to answer this titular question, and evaluate the role of computers in the future of biology and medicine.

Time: 5:30 pm on 23rd May
Venue: Lecture Theatre B, Department of Computer Science 15 Parks Road

Limited spots available.
There will be a networking & drinks reception after the event.
As always, this event is free and everyone is welcome!

About the speakers:

Professor Blanca Rodriguez

Professor of Computational Medicine

Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Basic Biomedical Sciences

Blanca was born in Valencia, Spain, where she attended the Lycee Francais de Valencia, and graduated as an Electronics Engineer from the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain, in 1997. She then started a PhD in the Integrated Laboratory of Bioengineering supervised by Prof. Chema Ferrero and at the same time became an Assistant Professor in Electronics and Biomedical Instrumentation at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia.

During her PhD studies, she investigated the causes of extracellular potassium accumulation during acute ischaemia using a mathematical model of single cell action potential. After graduating in 2001, she joined Prof. Natalia Trayanova’s group at Tulane University in New Orleans (now at Johns Hopkins University), as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Her research focused on the mechanisms of cardiac vulnerability to electric shocks in normal and globally ischemic hearts.

In 2004, she won the First Prize in the Young Investigator Award Competition in Basic Science of the Heart Rhythm Society. After spending two years in New Orleans, she joined Oxford University in August 2004, as a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. David Gavaghan, funded by the Integrative Biology Project. From 2007 to 2013, Blanca Rodriguez held a Medical Research Council Career Development fellowship and she has also been awarded funding by European Comission, Royal Society, EPSRC, Wellcome Trust, BHF and Leverhulme Trust. She is currently a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Basic biomedical Science and Professor of Computational Medicine.

Dr. Romain Talon

XChem Senior Support Scientist

Romain joined the Structural Genomics Consortium Oxford in 2014, where his initial role was to contribute to the Diamond Light Source X-ray fragment screening facility XChem: “X-ray structure-accelerated, synthesis-aligned fragment medicinal chemistry”. He test-drove the new experiment with real-life SGC projects, stress-tested the XChem throughput and established what was required for XChem team to be open to external users.

He then made sure that XChem was used as a routine experiment to carry out X-ray fragment screening at the SGC. Romain thus became an “XChem Liaison Scientist” for the SGC. Over the past two years, he has coordinated and provided his expertise in crystallography for a total 27 fragment screening campaigns at the SGC. This number includes three fragment screening projects he carried out himself. Romain moved to the Diamond Light Source synchrotron to be a Senior Support Scientist for XChem.

On top of his user support role, Romain is now improving his knowledge in computational chemistry and expertise that to provide for XChem users at Diamond.

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