Transforming Biomedicine by AI: Big Data Analytics for Personalized and Predictive Health

Date(s) - 04/16/2018
3:00 pm

May Dongmei Wang, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computational Science and Engineering, IBB, IPaT, Winship Cancer Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University

Rapid advancements in biotechnologies such as –omic (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics etc.), next generation sequencing, bio-nanotechnologies, molecular imaging, and mobile sensors etc. accelerate the data explosion in biomedicine and health wellness. Multiple nations around the world have been seeking novel effective ways to make sense of “big data” for evidence-based, outcome-driven, and affordable 5P (Patient-centric, Predictive, Preventive, Personalized, and Precise) health care. The goal is develop multi-modal and multi-scale (i.e. molecular, cellular, whole body, individual, and population) biomedical data analytics research for discovery, development, and delivery.    

First, I will highlight major challenges in biomedical health informatics pipeline consisting of data quality control, information feature extraction, advanced knowledge modeling, decision making, and proper action taking through feedback.   Second, I will present utilities of health analytics for translational medicine such as histopathological imaging informatics for improving clinical decision support; RNA-seq data analytics such as algorithms for users to achieve improved biological utility, reproducibility, and effectiveness in decision making; and Electronic Health Record data quality control and mining.  Third, I will discuss fasting growing research directions such as emerging HL7 Fast Health Informatics Resource (FHIR) for harmonizing data for integrated genomics, imaging, physiological, and clinical EMR for improving 5P health .   Last, there is big shortage of data scientists and engineers who are capable of handling Big Data to meet the need of healthcare stakeholders (i.e. patients, physicians, payers, and hospitals). I will discuss efforts such as patient-centric educational intervention, community-based crowd sourcing, and Biomedical Data Analytics MOOC development.

Our research has been supported by NIH, NSF, Georgia Research Alliance, Georgia Cancer Coalition, Emory-Georgia Tech Cancer Nanotechnology Center, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute, USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and industrial partners such as Microsoft Research and HP.


Dr. Wang’s research is in Biomedical Big Data Analytics with a focus on Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI) for predictive, personalized, and precision health (pHealth). In FDA-organized MAQC international consortium, she led the comprehensive RNA-Seq data analysis pipeline study. In NCI caBIG, she contributed both data quality and robust analytics tools for cancer research. In CDC’s next generation electronic death registration system design phase for big data-driven modeling, she piloted the first Smart-on-FHIR in harmonizing data across multiple jurisdictions.  Dr. Wang delivered more than 200 keynote and invited lectures, and published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in referred conference proceedings and journals (e.g. Journal of American Medical Informatics Association, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences-PNAS, Annual Review of Medicine, Nature Protocols, Circulation Genetics, Briefings in Bioinformatics, Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics-JBHI, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering-TBME, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, BMC Bioinformatics, Journal of Pathology Informatics etc.). She is a 2015-2016 Distinguished Lecturer in IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), a Georgia Tech Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awardee for Undergraduate Research, and a recipient of Emory University MilliPub Award for a high-impact paper that has been cited over 1,000 times.

Dr. Wang has served as an Emerging Area Editor for PNAS, Senior Editor for IEEE JBHI, an Associate Editor for IEEE TBME, and a panelist in NIH and NSF review panels. She is elected as the Vice Chair for 2018 Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Advanced Health Informatics, and has served in IEEE Big Data Initiative (BDI) Steering Committee. Besides serving as IEEE EMBS Biomedical and Health Informatics Technical Committee chair in the past, Dr. Wang has helped organize IEEE International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics (BHI), and ACM Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics Conferences (ACMBCB).

Dr. Wang is Georgia Tech Biomedical Informatics Program Co-Director in Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI), and Co-Director of Georgia-Tech Center of Bio-Imaging Mass Spectrometry. Her research sponsors include NIH, NSF, CDC, Georgia Research Alliance, Georgia Cancer Coalition, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta (CHOA), Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI), and industrial partners such as Microsoft Research and HP.