Speaker Profile

M.S., M.B.A, Director of Science Policy, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Tania Simoncelli recently joined the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as Director of Science Policy. Previously, she was Executive Director of Count Me In, an initiative housed by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard that aims to accelerate biomedical research by facilitating patient-researcher partnerships. From 2010-2015, Simoncelli served in the Obama Administration, as Special Assistant to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and as Assistant Director for Forensic Science and Biomedical Innovation within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. From 2003-2010, Simoncelli worked for the ACLU as the organization’s first-ever Science Advisor. In 2013, Simoncelli was named by the journal Nature as one of “ten people who mattered this year” for spearheading the ACLU’s successful lawsuit challenging the patenting of human genes (AMP v. Myriad, decided by the Supreme Court in 2013).


Partnering Directly with Patients to Accelerate Cancer Research
Developments in technology, policy, and social media are making it possible for researchers to partner directly with patients to accelerate biomedical research. We’ll describe current examples of patient-researcher partnerships, benefits of this approach, and challenges with regard to scaling these efforts.

Session Abstract – PMWC 2018 Silicon Valley

Session Synopsis: It’s fine to talk about cutting edge immunotherapy, biomarkers for early detection of disease, and the implications of ‘big data.’ But the dirty little secret surrounding big-data in healthcare is…we’ve got to think much smaller. Small data, N-of-1, the individual. Collected patient by patient, seven billion times over. Combining the power of people – and their health data – with developments in computational biology and technology for the knock-out punch on cancer. This session addresses patient data access, self-reported data, and regulatory solutions serving both human and AI/ML computational needs. We’ll outline a different way of thinking about the future – an attack on cancer that empowers people, patients and professionals.

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