Big data, health care, and creating change


On April 5, 2016, nine leading experts in the field of health systems data will present at the UBC Centennial Sessions Symposium on Health Informatics.

The sold-out event, co-hosted by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Faculty of Medicine, will be held at the Life Sciences Institute and is part of a series of public events designed to commemorate the University's 100th anniversary.

Dr. Andrew Morris, professor of medicine, director of the Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences and Informatics, vice principal, Data Science, University of Edinburgh, and chief scientist Health Scottish Government, will present the keynote address. Dr. Morris' research interests span informatics and chronic diseases, specifically relating to the application of informatics to study the epidemiological and molecular aetiological basis of diabetes and its complications.

Dr. Morris was awarded the RD Lawrence Award by Diabetes UK in 2003 and the Arnold Bloom Lecture 2013, the Saltire Society Scottish Science Award in 2005 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy of science and letters, and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2007 he co-founded Aridhia Informatics, now employing over 70 people in Scotland and with deployments in the UK, Middle East, and Australasia. He is seconded as Chief Scientist at the Scottish Government Health Directorate.

"We are honoured to welcome a scientist of Dr. Morris' calibre to share his expertise at this event," says Dr. Michael Coughtrie, professor and dean, UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. "The field of health informatics provides tremendous opportunities to improve on both patient care and cost effectiveness. Our speakers are leaders in the field."

Also presenting at the event, are Brendan Byrne, physician and computing expert, TELUS Health; Pieter Cullis, co-founder of the Personalized Medicine Initiative; Heather Davidson, assistant deputy minister of Partnership and Innovation Division, BC Ministry of Health; Lars-Olof Eriksson, executive vice-president site and patient recruitment, ICON plc, and associate professor in clinical pharmacology, Lund University, Sweden, and Rutgers University, New Jersey; and Paul Terry, senior leadership, PHEMI, and member of the board of directors for Providence Health Care, Life Sciences BC, Genome BC, and Molecular You.

Several UBC faculty members will also present, including Judy Illes, UBC Faculty of Medicine; Larry Lynd, UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences; and Raymond Ng, UBC Computer Science.

Full speaker biographies can be viewed in the digital event program, available here.