Bio-IT World Expo Announces 2012 Keynote Speakers

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Three Visionary Keynotes to Headline Its 10th Anniversary Conference

Bio-IT World is proud to announce the three keynote speakers for its 10th anniversary Conference & Expo, to be held in Boston next Spring (April 24-26, 2012).

The keynoters will be Eric D. Perakslis, the newly appointed CIO and Chief Scientist of Informatics, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Martin Leach, CIO, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; and Jill P. Mesirov, Associate Director and Chief Informatics Officer; Director, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Eric D. Perakslis, PhD, is currently Chief Information Officer and Chief Scientist (Informatics) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In this new role, Eric is responsible for modernizing and enhancing the IT capabilities as well as the in silico scientific capabilities at FDA. Prior to FDA, Eric was Senior Vice President of R&D Information Technology at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals R&D and was a member of the Corporate Office of Science and Technology. Before joining J&J, Eric was the Group leader of Scientific Computing at ArQule Inc. and he began his professional career with the Army Corps of Engineers. Eric has a PhD in chemical and biochemical engineering from Drexel University and also holds B.S.Che and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering.

Commented Bio-IT World Editor-in-Chief Kevin Davies: “Over the past decade, we’ve invited some spectacular keynote speakers to headline the Bio-IT World Conference, including Ray Kurzweil, Stephen Wolfram, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Craig Venter, and NIH director Francis Collins, it’s an impressive list –- and one in which our 2012 keynotes rightfully belong. We are thrilled to announce that among our keynote presenters will be Eric Perakslis, the newly appointed CIO of FDA. Eric spent a dozen years at J&J and has been a dynamic speaker at previous conferences. We’re delighted to offer him this high-profile forum to share his vision for FDA.”

In honor of the fact that the very first keynote speaker at the inaugural Bio-IT World Expo in 2002 was Eric Lander, director of the Broad Institute, the opening keynote session in 2012 will be a twin bill, featuring Martin Leach and Jill Mesirov, the Chief Information and Chief Informatics Officers at the Broad, respectively.

“As the nation’s foremost genomics research center plans to literally double its size in the next couple of years, Martin and Jill will offer a fascinating glimpse at how they are harnessing the latest innovations in informatics and IT to harness the data deluge and further biomedical research,” said Davies.

Martin Leach, PhD, is chief information officer at the Broad Institute, where he oversees and helps integrate the institute’s multi-faceted computing and information technology-related endeavors. Martin was previously at Merck & Co., where he led IT for Discovery and Pre-Clinical Sciences across North America. He previously spent almost a decade providing support and strategic vision for IT and bioinformatics at Curagen and 454 Life Sciences, among other organizations. Martin received his B.Sc. in cell and molecular sciences from Anglia Polytechnic University (UK) and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Boston University School of Medicine.

Jill P. Mesirov, PhD, is associate director and chief informatics officer at the Broad Institute, where she directs computational biology and bioinformatics. Jill is also a member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and adjunct professor of bioinformatics at Boston University. Jill previously worked at IBM, where she was manager of computational biology and bioinformatics in the Healthcare/Pharmaceutical Solutions Organization. Before joining IBM, she was director of research at Thinking Machines Corporation. She has also held positions in the mathematics department at the University of California at Berkeley and has served as associate executive director of the American Mathematical Society. Jill is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, director of the International Society for Computational Biology, and former president of the Association for Women in Mathematics. She received her B.A. in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Ph.D., and M.A. in mathematics from Brandeis University.

In addition, the 2012 conference will feature a plenary panel discussion on advances in cancer diagnostics, informatics and therapeutics, in which a distinguished group of some of the most innovative and renowned cancer researchers will discuss the current state of cancer research, diagnostics, genome analysis and clinical trials. “Our plenary panel discussion will feature some of our most innovative cancer researchers, talking about the state of cancer research and diagnostics, translational medicine, and clinical trials. It should be a fascinating session,” said Davies.

For more information on the 2012 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, visit the event website at

About Bio-IT World
Bio-IT World (, the flagship publication of Cambridge Healthtech Institute (CHI), is the leading source of news on technology and strategic innovation in drug discovery, development and clinical trials. Bio-IT World's focus is increasingly one that explores the tools and results of "predictive biology" as the industry adapts to the new world of "personalized medicine." Bio-IT World has won 34 national and regional awards, more than any other magazine covering the life sciences industry. Bio-IT World, part of Cambridge Healthtech Media Group--a division of CHI--also produces a comprehensive, continually updated website, topic-specific briefings, white papers, webcasts, podcasts, conferences, and the Bio-IT World Best Practices Awards. Established in 2001, the magazine is based in Needham, Mass.

About Cambridge Healthtech Institute (CHI)
Cambridge Healthtech Institute (CHI) (, founded in 1992, is the industry leader in providing superior-quality scientific information to eminent researchers and business experts from top pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic organizations. Delivering an assortment of resources such as events, reports, publications and eNewsletters, CHI's portfolio of products include Cambridge Healthtech Institute Conferences, Barnett Educational Services, Insight Pharma Reports, Cambridge Marketing Consultants, Cambridge Meeting Planners, and Cambridge Healthtech Media Group.

Contact: Kaushik Chaudhuri
Cambridge Healthtech Institute
(781) 972-5419


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