National Science Foundation Industry University Research Centers (NSF I/UCRC)

At University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and Florida International University (FIU)

In Collaboration with USISTF and the Technion (Israel)

Direction-setting Workshop

Knowledge Mining and Bioinformatics Techniques to Advance Personalized Diagnostics and Therapeutics

February 4-5, 2012, in Florence, Italy, alongside the Up Close and Personalized Medicine Congress (


Workshop Agenda:

Workshop participants have debated and are producing a report setting forth directions, challenges, and proposed policy for advancement of Personalized Medicine in USA and Worldwide. The Report, comprised of recommendations of the panel and scientific chapters by the participants, will be delivered to US Government and published by Springer Verlag as a volume in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

The workshop was sponsored by the National Science Foundation under Grant OISE-1157372 (Carleen Maitland, NSF Program Director; Naphtali Rishe, Principal Investigator)


Workshop participants included representatives of leading academic, governmental, and industrial researchers in medicine and informatics.


Workshop Scientific Committee Co-Chairs:

Yelena Yesha (UMBC), Naphtali Rishe (FIU), Eddie Karnieli (Technion)

Workshop Organizational Chair: Ann Liebschutz, US-Israel Science an Technology Foundation

The world has seen the human genome fully decoded by an international team of scientists after more than a decade of work to being available to scientists within days or hours. The question now is how will we use the wealth of information available to us through our newly understood genomic data and, further, given our massive computing power, can we merge this information with all of a given patient.s health data, compared against that of similar cases, in order to better diagnose and offer therapeutics?

The U.S.-Israel Science and Technology Foundation, in partnership with the Florida International University, the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the Technion, has organized an international science workshop that brought together an international group of medical and computer scientists focused on just that, how to use knowledge mining and bioinformatics tools to advance personalized diagnostics and therapeutics ( Sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the workshop was held on February 4th and 5th in Florence, Italy, adjunct to the International Congress on Personalized Medicine ( The workshop's scientific steering committee includes Dr. Naphtali Rishe (Workshop Chair and NSF Principal Investigator), Dr. Yelena Yesha (Program Chair) and Dr. Eddy Karnieli (UPCP General Chair). Ann Liebschutz was the Organizational Chair.

The workshop brought together a group of 40 medical and computer scientists representing the United States, Israel, Palestinian Territories, Canada, Italy, Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany. The workshop included four scientific sessions focusing on the policy implications of implementing personalized diagnostics and therapeutics based on big data analytics, the technological challenges facing computer scientists and physicians in creating useable systems, the challenges in utilizing big data analytics to predict future health outcomes, and the needs of clinicians in utilizing in their practices decision support systems based on big data analytics.

Moderated by Dr. Ron Ribitzky, the workshop concluded by reaching multi-disciplinary and multi-national broad-based consensus on new directions for knowledge mining and bioinformatics tools to impact patient care; as well as strategic, proactive, and preventive health and wellness decisions here and now.

A multi-faceted, grand-challenge undertaking, the highlights included call-to-action for technological breakthroughs to fill the growing .translational white spaces. Among the many scientific and clinical disciplines throughout the personalized medicine cycle up to end-user clinicians, patients, and consumers; business models innovation to accelerate the reduction of new discoveries along that cycle to practice; and policies that facilitate both. Uzia Galil, the founder of the Galil Center for Medical Informatics, Telemedicine and Personalized Medicine at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), had this to say about the workshop which he participated in: "We have today a better cooperation between the Bio-Medical and Genetic Research and the advanced electronic Medical Health records, but we need more workshops of this kind in order to bring again computer scientists and clinicians to come together and lay the groundwork for the future of medicine by providing the relevant information to the general practitioner in front of the patient."

The group is preparing to deliver the scientific proceedings of the workshop to the National Science Foundation and broader community. These proceedings are expected to be published as Springer Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number OISE-1157372. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF. This page: