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Welcome to the CBIIT Speaker Series Wiki


The NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) Speaker Series is a bi-weekly knowledge-sharing forum featuring speakers on topics of interest to the biomedical informatics and research communities. General topics to be discussed include but are not limited to novel experimental approaches in basic research that require innovative informatics solutions; general informatics methodologies for specific tasks such as natural language processing and data exchange/integration; novel software applications (proprietary or open source); standards; ontologies; open-source development projects; human/computer interactions; future trends in biomedical informatics research and development; and CBIIT/NCIP partnerships inside and outside NCI/NIH.

Speaker Series Guidelines for Speakers: Download Word document

Please refer to the Speaker Calendar below for upcoming speakers.

Presentations: Please visit our Speaker Series Videos page or our YouTube playlist Exit Disclaimer logo to view past speakers' presentations on video.

Location: 9609 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850

Questions? Please email Eve Shalley at

RSS Feed:  You may subscribe to the "Notices" to the right, by using this RSS feed in your Feed Reader software.



An invitation: If you are interested in presenting your work to our diverse audience of informaticists; basic, translational, and clinical researchers; software developers; and others interested in exploring the uses of informatics in cancer research, contact Eve Shalley at or 240-276-5194.


Upcoming Speakers:

May 27: Dr. Chris Chute, Johns Hopkins University

June 24: Dr. Javed Kahn, NCI

July 8: Dr. Georgia Tourassi, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

photo of Ronald Summers


The need for decision support systems in radiology is growing given the dramatic increase in imaging utilization, intensity and workload. Dr. Summers' laboratory at NIH focuses on the application of advanced image processing and machine learning techniques to provide decision support for radiology image interpretation. As a body radiologist and CT subspecialist, Dr. Summers has chosen to focus his research on the development of decision support for thoracoabdominal CT image interpretation.

In this talk, Dr. Summers will discuss his laboratory's approach to full automation of body CT interpretation. In the last three years, his laboratory has made substantial progress towards this goal. Topics will include fully-automated detection and segmentation of major body organs and their lesions, including spine and spine lesions and lymphadenopathy. Validation results will be presented. Dr. Summers will describe potential unrecognized benefits of fully-automated quantitation on routine body CT scans without the need for additional radiation exposure. He will also discuss the impact of advances in deep learning to radiology image analysis.

Session details...

photo of Ada Hamosh photo of Nara Sobreira


PhenoDB is a web-based tool developed for the collection, storage and analysis of phenotype data, as well as interpretation of exome and genome data in the context of phenotype data. It has it own taxonomy and links to OMIM for disease terms. There is a single center version that allow identifiers and includes only the phenotype and analysis module ( and a tool for larger studies that also includes a sample module and an ELSI module for storage and review of consents ( Both are freely available for download; can be used by individual users to try it out (it is toggled to have only deidentified data). PhenoDB has been in use for the Baylor-Hopkins Center for Mendelian Genomics since March 2012 and holds information on over 5000 individuals from ~3000 families. It has proved efficient and effective in novel disease gene discovery. It can also be used for a laboratory or clinic.

Session details...


This presentation will cover current status of the SEER program and review opportunities for use of the data in support of cancer research as it currently exists. It will identify and discuss challenges in more comprehensive data collection and how these are being addressed through new initiatives that will enhance the capacity of the registries to support research in a contemporary research setting.

Session details...

photo of Alexander Szalay


This talk will describe how science is changing as a result of the vast amounts of data we are collecting from gene sequencers to telescopes and supercomputers. This “Fourth Paradigm of Science,” predicted by Jim Gray, is moving at full speed, and is transforming one scientific area after another. The talk will present various examples on the similarities of the emerging new challenges and how Jim Gray’s vision is realized by the scientific community. Scientists are increasingly limited by their ability to analyze the large amounts of complex data available. These data sets are generated not only by instruments but also computational experiments; the sizes of the largest numerical simulations are on par with data collected by instruments, crossing the petabyte threshold this year. The importance of large synthetic data sets is increasingly important, as scientists compare their experiments to reference simulations. All disciplines need a new “instrument for data” that can deal not only with large data sets but the cross product of large and diverse data sets. There are several multi-faceted challenges related to this conversion, e.g., how to move, visualize, analyze, and in general interact with petabytes of data. 

Session details...

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