Mendelspod and Chempetitive Walk into a Tequila Joint . . .

Theral Timpson

It’s no joke.  And it wasn’t for the Superbowl.  

Last Thursday Mendelspod and Chempetitive Group hosted a special networking and panel discussion event in a classic tequila lounge in San Francisco.  We were joined in this lounge by five stellar bioinformaticians and an audience of about fifty.  I’m not going to give all the juicy bits of the discussion here because we want to incentivize the audience to join us and not stay home or at the office and read about it.  In our uber connected online world, there is something to be gained also from meeting in person, socializing, and participating in a live discussion.

Panelists and Moderator:  Bob Rogers of Apixio, Theral Timpson of Mendelspod, Andrew Carroll of DNAnexus, Jonathan Hirsch of Syapse, Matt Landry of Dx Engine, Mirko Buholzer of Complete Genomics

The Thursday event was a nice success for us, Chempetitive, and the topic of bioinformatics.  We were able to assemble an outstanding lineup of panelists on the topic, “How Will Bioinformatics Scale?”  Represented on the panel were some of the leading companies in genomic medicine:  Complete Genomics, DNAnexus, and Syapse.  Also on hand was a lead scientist from Apixio who is offering unique informatics in the healthcare space.  It was great to hear data scientists who have been primarily focused on omics data engage with someone from the healthcare side.  And visa versa.  When you look at overall healthcare big data, genomics is just a small portion.  Below are some memorable lines from the panelists (thanks to @EClausen and @DNAnexus for tweeting):

“The big issue is accuracy.  And if you want truly accurate health records, big data analytics is the only way.”  Bob Rogers, Apixio

“Genomics is cool.  But right now there are infrastructure issues when it comes to delivery.  It’s like driving a fancy new truck over an old rickety bridge.”  Jonathan Hirsch, Syapse

“Data centralization is the key to solving a lot of accuracy issues.”  Andrew Carroll, DNAnexus

“We need a consumer push, not just clinical, for bioinformatics to really have an impact.”  Mirko Buholzer, Complete Genomics

“There are bigger issues in healthcare than bringing genomic data into the clinic.”  Matt Landry, DxEngine

(More quotes on Twitter, under #bioinformatics on Jan 30th.)

This is the first event that Mendelspod has put on, and the first for Chempetitive in the Bay Area.  And we’d like to continue.  Perhaps when you peruse these pictures you’ll be inspired to join us in the future.  Today, we’re asking for your suggestions on topics for future events.  Click here and send us a note.

Please comment also on when and where you’d like to join an event.  Is afternoon better than evening?  Is Palo Alto better than San Francisco?  We want your ideas.

Mingling at Tres Lounge
Karl Glaub, Curiosity Works
Matt Landry, DxEngine; Helen Cao, Qiagen
Nnamdi Ihuegbu, Life Tech  ; Angela Anderson, DNAnexus