2014 ISCB Fellows Keynote

Russ B. Altman, MD, PhD

Professor of Bioengineering, Genetics, and Medicine and Computer Science

Director, Biomedical Informatics Training Program
Stanford University, United States

website: http://helix-web.stanford.edu/people/altman/

Presentation Title: Informatics for understanding drug response at all scales

Presentation Time: Tuesday July 15, 4:40 pm - 5:40 pm

Introduction by: Reinhard Schneider, ISCB Treasurer



An understanding of drug action at multiple levels is required for optimal use of existing drugs, as well as for identifying new opportunities for therapeutics.  Unlike many experimental programs, informatics programs for drug action can integrate data of length scales across length scales spanning more than 6 orders of magnitude: from molecular to global populations.  In this talk, I will discuss how we have developed methods at the molecular, cellular, individual organism and population to understand drug response phenotypes, and the underlying molecular mechanism of these responses.  This information can be used for understanding personalized medicine (pharmacogenomics), drug interactions, drug repurposing and druggability of orphan genes.


Russ Biagio Altman is a professor of bioengineering, genetics, & medicine (and of computer science, by courtesy) and past chairman of the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University. His primary research interests are in the application of computing and informatics technologies to basic biological problems relevant to medicine. He is particularly interested in methods for understanding drug action at molecular, cellular, organism and population levels. His lab studies how human genetic variation impacts drug response (e.g. http://www.pharmgkb.org/). Other work focuses on the analysis of biological molecules to understand the action, interaction and adverse events of drugs (http://features.stanford.edu/). He leads one of seven NIH-supported National Centers for Biomedical Computation, focusing on physics-based simulation of biological structures (http://simbios.stanford.edu/). Dr. Altman holds an A.B. from Harvard College, and M.D. from Stanford Medical School, and a Ph.D. in Medical Information Sciences from Stanford. He received the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Medical Informatics, and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He is a past-president, founding board member, and a Fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology, and the President-Elect of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. He currently chairs the Science Board advising the FDA Commissioner. He is an organizer of the annual Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing (http://psb.stanford.edu/), and a founder of Personalis, Inc. He won the Stanford Medical School graduate teaching award in 2000.