CELEHS Celebrates Five Years of Translational Research

CELEHS Workshop Panel

Last Friday, research collaborators gathered at the Harvard Faculty Club to celebrate the five year anniversary of the Translational Data Science Center for a Learning Health System (CELEHS) with a workshop on Raising the Impact of Data Science Research: from theory to translation.  The event brought together 37 faculty, students, and researchers from the VA, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, the Brigham, HSPH and HMS, to discuss advances and challenges with applications of machine learning to healthcare.  HSPH faculty presentations included research from Rui Duan on collaborative learning, Rong Ma on single-cell data integration, Nima Hejazi on biomarkers of vaccine protection, and Junwei Lu on large language models. In a panel (pictured above) led by Center leader Tianxi Cai, discussants including Marinka Zitnik, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Florence Bourgeois, Co-Director of the Harvard-MIT Center for Regulatory Science, Katherine Liao, Associate Professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical Schooll, Kelly Cho, Director of  Centralized Interactive Phenomics Resource (CIPHER) and Director of Data Core for the Million Veteran Program (MVP) at Veterans Affairs, and LJ Wei, Director of the Industry Partnership Program at HSPH, discussed future directions of data science research and the rise of AI.  Some of the future challenges for translational data science were nicely summarized by Katherine Liao as issues related to ‘scale’ –  designing people-scaled data solutions to be usable in fast-paced clinical environments, paying attention to ‘context’ in terms of building from frameworks that have been in use for decades such as clinical trial research, and lastly ‘provenance’ – understanding the pitfalls of data, and the need to test data iteratively to make sure that models continue to be relevant.  Followed by a reception and dinner, it was an event rich with introductions and interactions, portending many more years of exciting research from CELEHS and its many collaborators!