CANCELED: Precision Medicine: Only the Beginning of the Dialectic Between Genomics and Phenomenology

  • Speaker
  • Lawrence J. Henderson Professor of Pediatrics Isaac Kohane is the new head of the new Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School. He is pictured in Countway Library in the rare books collection, the original big data, at HMS. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerIsaac Kohane, M.D., Ph.D.Marion V. Nelson Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School
    Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics
    Associate Professor of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Date & Time


About Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures

Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures are free public colloquia centered on four main themes: Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science, and Neuroscience and Autism Science. These curated, high-level scientific talks feature leading scientists and mathematicians and are intended to foster discourse and drive discovery among the broader NYC-area research community. We invite researchers in the area — as well as interested members of the metropolitan public — to join us for this weekly lecture series.

Less than a century ago, the discovery of new inherited diseases accelerated through clinical research and analysis. The advances in clinical medicine derived from these discoveries were among the compelling impetuses for the Human Genome Project, which aimed to identify the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study. In many ways, the scientific bounty from the project has been tremendous. However, the primacy of genomics as an explanatory or even causal approach to biology and medicine has been fundamentally limiting.

In this lecture, Isaac Kohane will illustrate how a knowledgeable and deep embrace of dialectic between genomics and phenomenology is needed to rapidly advance our understanding of human biology and accelerate clinical medicine. The synthesis that this embrace entails, he says, will strain our current modes of investigation and put a very high premium on multidisciplinary and quantitative training in biomedicine.

To attend this in-person event, you will need to register in advance and provide:

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  • Eventbrite ticket confirmation email with QR code
  • Simons Foundation Health Screening Questionnaire approval email

Guests are expected to complete these requirements each time they visit the Simons Foundation and entrance will not be granted without this documentation.

On-site registration will not be permitted. Walk-in entry will be denied.

About the Speaker

Lawrence J. Henderson Professor of Pediatrics Isaac Kohane is the new head of the new Department of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School. He is pictured in Countway Library in the rare books collection, the original big data, at HMS. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Kohane is the inaugural chair of the department of biomedical informatics and the Marion V. Nelson professor of biomedical informatics at Harvard Medical School. He develops and applies computational techniques to address disease at multiple scales — from whole healthcare systems as “living laboratories” to the functional genomics of neurodevelopment with a focus on autism. Kohane’s i2b2 project is currently deployed internationally to over 120 major academic health centers to drive discovery research in disease and pharmacovigilance (including providing evidence on drugs that ultimately contributed to “boxed warning” by the FDA). Kohane has published several hundred papers in the medical literature and authored a widely-used book on microarrays for integrative genomics. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

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