Improving Therapeutic Development at Biogen with UK Biobank Data, Databricks, and DNAnexus

Large scale genomics datasets like the UK Biobank are revolutionizing how pharmaceutical companies identify targets for therapeutic development. However, turning petabytes of genomics data into actionable links between genotype and phenotype is out of reach for companies using legacy genomic data technologies. In this talk, Biogen will describe how they collaborated with DNAnexus and Databricks to move their on-premises data infrastructure into the AWS cloud. By combining the DNAnexus platform with the Databricks Genomics Runtime, Biogen was able to use the UK Biobank dataset to identify genes containing protein-truncating variants that impact human longevity and neurological status.

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About John Ellithorpe, PhD


John Ellithorpe, PhD, is the Executive Vice President & Chief Product Officer at DNAnexus. He has spent his career driving innovative technology to improve people's lives. At DNAnexus, John leads the Product, Engineering, Science, Services, and Support teams. Prior, John was CPO at Vantiq, delivering intelligent systems in the IoT space, and co-founder, CTO, and CPO at Model N (NYSE: MODN) where he led the Global Products group and drove technical strategy. John holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of California at Irvine and a PhD in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About David Sexton


David is a Senior Director, Genome Technology and Informatics at Biogen. David has spent 27 years in life sciences as a scientist and information systems innovator across industry and academia. David leads a diverse group responsible for next-generation sequencing, computational biology, and 'Omics information systems at Biogen. Previously, David was the Head of Genome Informatics at Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research where he led the group responsible for all genomic information systems at Novartis. He is also involved in industry efforts within the Pistoia Alliance to promote FAIR data practices in life sciences research. David holds a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Sciences and a Master's degree in Computer Information Systems.

About Frank Austin Nothaft


Frank is the Technical Director for the Healthcare and Life Sciences vertical at Databricks. Prior to joining Databricks, Frank was a lead developer on the Big Data Genomics/ADAM and Toil projects at UC Berkeley, and worked at Broadcom Corporation on design automation techniques for industrial scale wireless communication chips. Frank holds a PhD and Masters of Science in Computer Science from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s of Science with Honors in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.