Dr. Murphy is a preeminent data scientist working in Precision Medicine and focused on developing data analysis methods and experimental designs to improve real time multi-stage decision-making in mobile health. She is particularly focused on methods and algorithms that can be employed on wearable devices, to deliver individually tailored treatments. She developed the sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART). SMART designs provide scientists with the empirical tools to build adaptive interventions, treatment rules that dictate whether, how, and when to alter treatment for patients. The decision rules employ variables such as patient response, risk, burden, adherence, and preference. SMARTs are currently being used to build better treatments for a broad range of health problems including cocaine abuse, depression, alcohol abuse, ADHD, autism, and bipolar disorder. Read her full bio.

PMWC 2018 Michigan takes place June 6-7, 2018.

Q&A with Susan A. Murphy

Q: Your lab develops experimental trial designs and data analysis methods for increasing the usefulness of mobile health interventions. Can you please give examples how these trials are being used in the areas of substance abuse, physical activity, or helping people quit smoking?
A: We are involved in a number of mobile health trials that employ our experimental designs. Check out the website : http://methodology.psu.edu/ra/adap-inter/mrt-projects#proj! At this website you will find schematics of mobile health trials, most of which we are involved in. These include SARA, a first trial aimed at learning how we, along with Dr. M. Walton, Dr. P. Klasnja and Dr. I. Nahum-Shani can keep young adults, who are at high risk of substance use, engaged in data collection. This is a first step toward providing just-in-time interventions to reduce their substance use. We are also involved in a smoking cessation study with Dr. B. Spring and Dr. S. Kumar in which people who are trying to quit smoking wear a variety of sensors. These sensors are used to detect when the person is physiologically stressed –in this study we are using micro-randomization to learn whether it is useful to remind the person to practice their stress reduction exercises at these stressed times.

Q: What is the Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART) model that you developed and how it can be used by clinicians to tailor personalized interventions?
A: Whereas the micro-randomized trial is all about learning when and where it is useful for a wearable or smartphone to provide supportive interventions to you, the SMART is all about learning when and where it is useful for clinicians and other health personnel to provide treatments. Here the treatments can be medications or behavioral counseling or other types of interventions provided by clinical staff.

Q: How the Just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAI) concept is applied in patient care?
A: JITAIs operationalize how a smartphone or other mobile device, including wearables can be used to extend care beyond the clinic. For example we are working with Dr. P. Klasnja to develop a JITAI for enhancing care after bariatric surgery. Bari-Fit is a quality improvement micro-randomized study recently conducted at Kaiser Permanente in Seattle. A schematic of this study can be found at http://methodology.psu.edu/ra/adap-inter/mrt-projects#proj This JITAI, once finalized, can be used to help people avoid regaining weight following bariatric surgery.

Q: What do you see as the greatest challenges facing the field of statistics in the coming years?
A: Statistics is undergoing very rapid change. The kinds of data that we can collect now-a-days is very complex, multi-time scale and multilevel ranging from many real-time streams of sensor data collected by wearables or other sensors placed in our environment all the way to genetic data and proteomics data. The old principles used by statistics and data scientists, to extract information from data and to provide measures of the confidence that one can attach to any statement involving data, need to be generalized or even replaced in this new world. It is a very exciting time to be a Statistician !

Interview with Gabriel Bien-Willner of Palmetto GBA

Q: What does your role entail as the director of the MolDX program at Palmetto GBA?

A: The job directing MolDX is multifaceted; first and foremost the MolDX program is responsible for assessing molecular diagnostic tests on the market and makes coverage and pricing determinations for such tests and technology. This is usually done through local coverage determination policies or technical assessments.

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Interview with Peter Marks of FDA

Q: The CBER’s Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy Designation program has been very successful, with about 100 requests for designation in the two years of its existence. Can you please tell us about the program and how it was put together?

A: The Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) Designation program came into being as part of the 21st Century Cures Act that was signed into law on December 13, 2016.

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Interview with Calum MacRae of Harvard Medical School

Q: What patient data do we need to better understand the underlying cause of disease and how to prevent it?

A: Medicine at present is highly underdetermined and data poor. To be precise, one must be comprehensive, so medicine (with our consent) will use not only what we currently conceive of as biomedical information, but also data from across our lives.

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Headlines from PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley

A big ‘Thank You’ to all of our presenters and attendees for celebrating 10 years of precision medicine progress with us! PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley was attended by 2000 participants from 35 countries, which included over 400 speakers in 5 parallel tracks!

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Interview with Ken Bloom of Ambry Genetics

Q: Tell us more about your organization/company. What patient population are you serving and which services are you specializing in?

A: Ambry Genetics is a recognized leader in high quality complex genetic testing. We seek to find the genomic cause or contributors to rare diseases, abnormal phenotypes and hereditary disorders.

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Interview with Lee Pierce of Sirius Computer Solutions

Q: What is the state of big data and analytics in healthcare, and how to best use the reams of data available?

A: More than ever, Healthcare organizations are achieving measurable value through use of their data and analytics assets. There is more raw material available than ever to create value. This raw material is the data flowing from internal systems and applications and also from devices and systems external to healthcare organizations.

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Interview with Anita Nelsen of PAREXEL

Q: There are various new, emerging technologies that bring us closer towards a cure for life-threatening disorders such as cancer, HIV, or Huntington’s disease. Prominent examples include the popular gene editing tool CRISPR or new and improved cell and gene therapies. By when can we expect these new technologies being part of routine clinical care?

A: Today’s emerging technologies are making the promise of individualized treatment a reality.

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Interview with Ilan Kirsch of Adaptive Biotechnologies

Q: The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded recently to James Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their work on unleashing the body’s immune system to attack cancer, a breakthrough that has led to an entirely new class of drugs and brought lasting remissions to many patients who had run out of options. The Nobel committee hailed their accomplishments as establishing “an entirely new principle for cancer therapy.” What is your first-hand experience the impact that those new drugs had on patients?

A: For decades cancer was viewed as solely a cell-autonomous condition.

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BMS buys Celgene | Lilly buys Loxo Oncology – Does this Signal a Return to Strong Deal-Making Activities in 2019?

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s blockbuster $74B deal to buy Celgene creates an oncology powerhouse amid industrywide excitement about the rapidly evolving science and explosive growth of the sector. The agreement could signal a return to deal-making for the pharmaceutical industry in the $133B global oncology therapeutics market.

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Interview with Gini Deshpande of NuMedii

Q: What need is NuMedii addressing?

A: NuMedii, has been pioneering the use of Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and systems biology since 2010 to accelerate the discovery of precision therapies to address high unmet medical needs. Artificial Intelligence approaches are a natural fit to harness Big Data as they provide a framework to ‘train’ computers to recognize patterns and sift through vast amounts of new and existing genomic

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Interview with Minnie Sarwal of UCSF

Q: Genomic medicine is entering more hospitals and bringing with it non-invasive technology that can be used to better target and treat diseases. What are some key milestones that contributed to this trend?

A: Completion of complete sequence data from the human genome project, and the advances in proteomic, microRNA and epigenetic assays added a layer of pathway biology to the understanding of human diseases.

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Interview with Shidong Jia of Predicine

Q: Once sequencing has been validated as a clinical solution via trusted workflows, and coinciding with the technological developments driving costs lower, we can expect accelerated human genome profiling for clinical Dx. How soon, do you think, will we see accelerated growth and what can we expect?

A: We will see accelerated human genome profiling for clinical Dx in 2019 and the coming years as more biomarker-based cancer drugs are gaining approval.

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Interview with Iya Khalil of GNS Healthcare

Q: Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have sent vast waves across healthcare, even fueling an active discussion of whether AI doctors will eventually replace human physicians in the future. Do you believe that human physicians will be replaced by machines in the foreseeable future? What are your thoughts?

A: I think that there’s a lot of speculation and uncertainty around AI, but I don’t foresee a time when we won’t need physicians.

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Interview with Ilya Michael Rachman of Immix Biopharma Inc.

Q: The Nobel Price in Medicine was awarded recently to James Allison and Tasuku for their work on unleashing the body’s immune system to attack cancer, a breakthrough that has led to an entirely new class of drugs and brought lasting remissions to many patients who had run out of options. The Nobel committee hailed their accomplishments as establishing “an entirely new principle for cancer therapy.” Besides CAR T-cell therapy what do you think next generation immunotherapies will look like to successfully combat cancer?

A: The next generation of immunotherapies will build on the insights discovered by immunologists like James Allison and Tasuku Honjo and extend them to modify the body’s response to tumors.

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Join me to Kick off PMWC Silicon Valley in the Santa Clara Convention Center, Focusing on Every Element of Precision Medicine

My team worked in collaboration with Bill Dalton, Kim Blackwell, Atul Butte / India Hook Barnard, Nancy Davidson and Sharon Terry to create a program that touches every component of precision medicine while bringing together all of its key stakeholders. Leading participating institutions including Stanford Health Care, UCSF, Duke Health, Duke University, John Hopkins University, University of Michigan and more will share their learnings and experiences and their successes and challenges, as they make precision medicine the new standard of care for all.

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Johns Hopkins
University Of Michigan

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), in its 17th installment, will take place in the Santa Clara Convention Center (Silicon Valley) on January 21-24, 2020. The program will traverse innovative technologies, thriving initiatives, and clinical case studies that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest developments and advancements in precision medicine and cutting-edge new strategies and solutions that are changing how patients are treated.

See 2019 Agenda highlights:

  • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
    • AI & Data Science Showcase
    • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
    • Clinical Dx Showcase
    • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
    • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
    • Digital Phenotyping
    • Diversity in Precision Medicine
    • Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Early Days of Life Sequencing
    • Emerging Technologies in PM
    • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
    • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
    • Gene Editing
    • Genomic Profiling Showcase
    • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
    • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
    • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Microbial Profiling Showcase
    • Microbiome
    • Neoantigens
    • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
    • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • Point-of Care Dx Platform
    • Precision Public Health
    • Rare Disease Diagnosis
    • Resilience
    • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
    • Wellness and Aging Showcase

See 2019 Agenda highlights:

    • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
      • AI & Data Science Showcase
      • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
      • Clinical Dx Showcase
      • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
      • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
      • Digital Phenotyping
      • Diversity in Precision Medicine
      • Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Early Days of Life Sequencing
      • Emerging Technologies in PM
      • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
      • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
      • Gene Editing / CRISPR
      • Genomic Profiling Showcase
      • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
      • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
      • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Microbial Profiling Showcase
      • Microbiome
      • Neoantigens
      • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
      • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
      • Pharmacogenomics
      • Point-of Care Dx Platform
      • Precision Public Health
      • Rare Disease Diagnosis
      • Resilience
      • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
      • Wellness and Aging Showcase
  • Luminary and Pioneer Awards, honoring individuals who contributed, and continue to contribute, to the field of Precision Medicine
  • 2000+ multidisciplinary attendees, from across the entire spectrum of healthcare, representing different types of companies, technologies, and medical centers with leadership roles in precision medicine
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