November 2018

"Is Medical Artificial Intelligence Possible in Low-Resource Settings?"

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm | 42 Church Street Cambridge 02138



In many fields, over recent decades, the generation and use of data have rapidly expanded and new data applications have been developed. However, although there has been a concurrent increase in the production of data in the health sector, there has been little corresponding change in the use of such data to improve health care. MIT Critical Data is a global consortium of clinicians, computer scientists, and engineers whose goal is to leverage data that is routinely collected in the process of care in order to improve our understanding of health and disease. But for data to be useful, it needs to be integrated across different systems, harmonized and curated, a process that requires close collaboration between data scientists and domain experts. Liberating data from proprietary information systems and breaking down the silos between clinicians and the data scientists are the biggest barriers in creating a truly learning health system.


Dr. Leo Anthony Celi

Dr. Leo Anthony Celi has practiced medicine in three continents, giving him broad perspectives in healthcare delivery. He holds a faculty position at Harvard Medical School as an intensive care specialist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. As clinical research director and principal research scientist at the MIT Laboratory for Computational Physiology (LCP), he brings together clinicians and data scientists to support research using data routinely collected in the intensive care unit (ICU). Leo founded and co-directs Sana, a cross-disciplinary organization based at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT, whose objective is to leverage information technology to improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. At its core is an open-source mobile tele-health platform that allows for capture, transmission and archiving of complex medical data, in addition to patient demographic and clinical information. Sana is the inaugural recipient of both the mHealth (Mobile Health) Alliance Award from the United Nations Foundation and the Wireless Innovation Award from the Vodafone Foundation in 2010. The software has since been implemented around the globe including India, Kenya, Lebanon, Haiti, Mongolia, Uganda, Brazil, Ethiopia, Argentina, and South Africa.


"Mapping and Repairing the Brain:
Implications for Global Health"

Tuesday, November 14th, 2018 | 2:00pm - 3:00pm | 42 Church Street Cambridge 02138

Brain disorders affect more than a billion people worldwide. Yet cures are few and treatment options inadequate. Traditional ways of examining the brain, such as using an fMRI, have poor resolution and are unable to pinpoint the exact molecular changes causing disease. However, novel technologies are being developed that let scientist peer inside the brain like never before. This includes tools that allow cells and molecules to be imaged with nanoscale precision, as well technologies to enable the activation and silencing of brain activity with light. These technologies, while designed for the brain, also are starting to have impact on the fields of cancer, immunity, and infectious disease, and thus may generally help with the understanding and confrontation of global health challenges.

In this seminar, Professor Ed Boyden will provide an overview of this new frontier of science and discuss the implications for people suffering with diseases globally.

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Ed Boyden is a professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at the MIT Media Lab and the MIT McGovern Institute. He leads the Synthetic Neurobiology group, which develops tools for analyzing and repairing complex biological systems such as the brain. He co-directs the MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering, which aims to develop new tools to accelerate neuroscience progress. Ed received his Ph.D. in neurosciences from Stanford University as a Hertz Fellow. Before that, he received three degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, and physics from MIT. He has contributed to over 400 peer-reviewed papers and granted/pending patents and has given over 400 invited talks on his group's work.