Bio-IT World Announces Winners of its 2013 Best Practices Awards Program

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Winners Announced at Bio-IT World Expo Conference in Boston

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Bio-IT World announced the winners of its ninth Best Practices Awards competition this morning in a plenary session at the 2013 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston.

Grand prize winners were named in four life sciences categories highlighting best practices in genomics, cloud computing, big data in disease research, and big pharma data management from the Genomic Medicine Institute at Geisinger, Schrödinger, Prize4Life, and GlaxoSmithKline.

In addition, the Judges’ Prize was awarded to Genentech and the Editors’ Choice Award was given to Partners Healthcare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine for the GeneInsight Suite.

Projects from JBI, Amgen, and Immune Tolerance Network received honorable mention.

“We extend our sincere congratulations to the winners of this year’s Bio-IT World Best Practices Awards competition” said Kevin Davies, editor of Bio-IT World. “Our select judges enjoyed evaluating the dozens of excellent entries received this year, and believe that the contest has highlighted some truly innovative, game-changing tools and solutions. Our winners should be very proud that they have captured the imagination and respect of such a distinguished jury.”

The Bio-IT World’s Best Practices Awards program was established in 2003 by the editors of Bio-IT World to recognize organizations for their outstanding innovations and excellence in the use of technologies and novel business strategies that will advance biomedical and translational research, drug development, and/or clinical trials.

Bio-IT World’s Best Practices Awards ceremony was this morning at the World Trade Center in Boston. The awards presentations were co-hosted by Phillips Kuhl, co-founder and president of Cambridge Healthtech Institute (CHI), and Kevin Davies PhD, editor-in-chief of Bio-IT World.

An expert panel of eight invited expert judges peer reviewed 33 detailed submissions from organizations ranging from large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to academic institutions and niche service providers around the world, detailing best practices in four categories as well as two special awards from the judges and the editors.

The grand prize trophies were presented to the following organizations within these categories:

Clinical & Health IT: Prize4Life
The Pooled Resource Open-access ALS Clinical Trials (PRO-ACT) platform

The PRO‐ACT database houses the largest harmonized dataset from completed clinical trials in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The platform enables the merging of data from global clinical trials, generating an invaluable resource for the design of future trials and the identification of novel correlations and disease biomarkers.

Informatics: Genomic Medicine Institute, Geisinger Health System—nominated by SimulConsult
Overcoming the clinical interpretation bottleneck using integrated genome-phenome analysis

The Genomic Medicine Institute at Geisinger used SimulConsult’s Genome-Phenome Analyzer to analyze the genomes of three family trios. Investigators correctly predicted 100% of the relevant genes in all three families and reduced the time required to do clinical interpretation for symptomatic patients by up to 90%.

IT Infrastructure: Schrödinger—nominated by Cycle Computing
50,000 Cores in the Cloud

Cycle Computing orchestrated a 50,000-core utility supercomputer in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud for Schrödinger and Nimbus Discovery to accelerate the screening of potential new cancer drugs. The experiment was run in three hours compared to an estimated nine months required to evaluate, design, and build a 50,000-core environment and get it fully operational. The project cost was less than $4,900 per hour at peak.

Knowledge Management: GlaxoSmithKline
Socrates Search

Socrates Search is a Google-like application that has been enhanced for chemistry, biology and disease search. The system has indexed more than 20 terabytes of electronic lab notebooks (ELNs), Documentum archives, SharePoint sites, emails and databases. The system uses sophisticated text indexing and analytics to identify chemical structure, gene, species and disease entities. Efficiency and benefits from being able to search ELNs alone were calculated at about £2 million per year.

Judges’ Prize: Genentech
An Innovative Cage Change Process

Genentech’s animal facility contains more than 20,000 cages supporting more than 550 investigators engaged in disease research. By more closely tracking when cages needed to be changed based upon occupancy and use, the program achieved what the judges called “staggering ROI.” The company saves an estimated $400,000 per year and provides a more humane environment for research animals.

Editors’ Prize: Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine

The GeneInsight Suite is an IT platform developed by the Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine, that streamlines the interpretation and management of vast amounts of medical genetics data, offering an important step towards the realizing the potential of personalized medicine. GeneInsight is helping clinicians utilize genetic test results and manage patient genetic data, and is poised to support integration of genomics into clinical care across a growing medical network.

Honorable Mention: JBI and Amgen—nominated by TeselaGen Biotechnology

Honorable Mention: Immune Tolerance Network—nominated by LabKey Software
ITN TrialShare Clinical Trials Research Portal: Advancing translational research through open access to clinical trials data and bio-repository information

Criteria and Judging
Awards finalists and winners were selected for their innovative use of bio-IT, including life science equipment, informatics, and information technology, on a project or organizational level to achieve significantly improved results (i.e. improvements in productivity or conceptual breakthroughs in scientific understanding or process methodology). The judges rated entries on several criteria, including innovation, importance, return on investment and likely industry impact, seeking stories that spotlighted the practical and positive deployment of novel technologies in academic, medical or commercial organizations. For further information on Bio-IT World’s Best Practices Awards, please email marketing_chmg(at)chimediagroup(dot)com.

The 2013 Best Practices Awards were organized by Bio-IT World managing editor Allison Proffitt and editor Kevin Davies. Joining the editors in judging the entries was a distinguished panel of experts:

  • Joe Cerro, SchoonerGroup
  • Bill Van Etten, The BioTeam
  • Stephen Fogelson, Develotron
  • Martin Gollery, Tahoe Informatics
  • Phillips Kuhl, Cambridge Healthtech Institute
  • Alan Louie, IDC Health Insights
  • Susan Ward, Consultant
  • Brenda Yanak, Pfizer

The 2014 Bio-IT World Best Practices competition will begin soliciting entries in October 2013. Contact: Allison Proffitt (Managing Editor, Bio-IT World): aproffitt(at)healthtech(dot)com, 617-233-8280.

About Bio-IT World
Part of the Cambridge Healthtech Institute Media Group (, Bio-IT World covers the application of informatics, IT and computer science in biomedical research and drug discovery. The web portal at provides topical news coverage and analysis of cutting-edge technologies to handle the data deluge in petascale computing and the tools to deliver individualized medicine. In addition, Cambridge Healthtech Media Group publishes a variety of e-newsletters including eCliniqua, and hosts a rich compendium of web symposia.

About Cambridge Healthtech Institute (CHI)
Founded in 1992, Cambridge Healthtech Institute ( is the preeminent life science network for leading researchers and business experts from top pharmaceutical, biotech, academic, and niche service provider organizations. CHI’s integrated life science portfolio of products and services includes Cambridge Healthtech Institute Conferences, Pharmaceutical Strategy Series, Barnett International, Cambridge Healthtech Associates, Insight Pharma Reports, Marketing Services, Meeting Planners, and Cambridge Healthtech Media Group, which includes several eNewsletters, Bio-IT, as well as Lead Generation Programs.

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