Faculty – European Artificial Intelligence Innovation Summit


Ron Alfa, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President, Discovery and Product, RECURSION PHARMA

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Dr. Alfa is Vice President, Discovery, and Product at Recursion Pharmaceuticals (recursionpharma.com), an AI-enabled drug discovery company combining state-of-the-art machine learning with automated cell biology. At Recursion, he leads Product across the organization working closely with all teams to leverage computational tools & robotics to solve important drug discovery challenges. He received training in Neurosciences, Medicine, and Entrepreneurship at Stanford University and has made scientific contributions to the fields of Neurosciences, Metabolism, and Genetics.


Simon Ashworth
Head, Specialty Critical Care, IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON


Claus Bendtsen
Executive Director and Head of Quantitative Biology, ASTRAZENECA

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Claus Bendtsen heads Quantitative Biology as part of Discovery Sciences within AstraZeneca. His department provides global support in areas of informatics, analytics, mathematical modelling, and non-clinical statistics. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, he held positions at Novartis and Merck & Co. Earlier in his career, he co-founded three start-ups and worked in academia. He holds a PhD in applied mathematics and an MBA.


Eerke Boiten
Professor of Cyber Security, Cyber Technology Institute, School of Computer Science and Informatics, DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY

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After his Ph.D. in the Netherlands, Eerke Boiten worked at the University of Kent as a computer science researcher and academic from 1995 to 2017. Initially working in a foundational area of computing, he branched out into computer security 10 years ago. He set up and led the University’s Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security, which achieved the EPSRC/GCHQ accreditation as an Academic Centre of Excellence in 2015. Looking beyond just his own discipline, Eerke developed an interest in the policy sides of big data from a perspective of technical realism. He engages in public debate in this area, including on privacy in general, and on medical data, and was a reviewer for the Nuffield Bioethics report on Biological and Health Data in 2015.  In April 2017, he moved to the Cyber Technology Institute at De Montfort University to take on the role of Professor of Cyber Security.


Subrata Bose
Global Head Clinical Trials Analytics and Insights, BAYER

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Subrata is the Global Head of Clinical Trials Analytics and Insights in Bayer. His team is focused on leveraging data, analytics and benchmarking to drive strategies, decision making and the delivery of clinical trials. Prior to that, he was Global head of Feasibility Operations and Recruitment Strategy at Bayer. Subrata has over 12 years of R&D strategy consulting and clinical research experiences where he led large-scale R&D strategic projects with leading pharmaceutical companies. He has a Ph.D. in Machine Learning and an MBA from Durham University, UK. He also holds an MSc degree in Computing and a BPharma. He has published extensively in leading clinical and pharmaceutical journals.


Mélanie Bourassa Forcier, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Director, Law and Health Policy Programme, Director, Law and Life Sciences Programme, Law Faculty, UNIVERSITÉ DE SHERBROOKE

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Dr Mélanie Bourassa Forcier is the Director of the Health Law and Policy and of the Law and Life Sciences Programs at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. She holds a PhD in Law from McGill, an M.Sc. in International Health Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an LL.L. summa cum laude from the University of Ottawa. Dr Bourassa Forcier is a member of the Quebec’s Bar School since 1999. She sometimes acts as a consultant for the Montreal law firm, Fasken.

Dr Bourassa Forcier has a particular knowledge of the legal framework governing drugs from their inception in the lab to their consumption. Her expertise also covers regulations governing risk-sharing agreements, optimal utilisation programs, intellectual property, technology transfers, public and private drug and healthcare coverage.

Dr Bourassa Forcier is actively involved in the health and life sciences sector in the province of Quebec. She is the author of several books and scientific articles related to health care policy and regulations.


Agoston E. Eiben
Head, Computational Intelligence Group, VRIJE UNIVERSITEIT AMSTERDAM

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Gusz Eiben is full professor of Artificial Intelligence on the VU University Amsterdam and visiting professor at the University of York, UK. His research ambition is to achieve artificial intelligence through artificial evolution. He is an expert in evolutionary computing in general and evolutionary robotics in particular. He co-authored the first comprehensive book on evolutionary computing (Introduction to Evolutionary Computing, Springer) and he is the only Dutch computer scientist with a paper in Nature. Currently, he is investigating robots that can learn from each other by exchanging and recombining their brains. Furthermore, he is working on robots that can reproduce and evolve in real time and real space under natural and/or human selection. In 2016 he carried out the first proof-of-concept to demonstrate a “robot baby” parented by two robots. The long-term goal of this research is to understand the co-evolution of the body and the mind.


Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D., FACE
Senior Endocrinologist, Clinical Investigator, Medical Director of the Obesity Clinical Programme, Director of the Inpatient Diabetes Programme, JOSLIN DIABETES CENTER

Associate Professor of Medicine, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL

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Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD, FACE is a senior endocrinologist, clinical investigator and Medical Director of the Obesity Clinical Programme and Director of the Inpatient Diabetes Programme at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr Hamdy research led to the first discovery that 7% weight loss in obese patients with and without diabetes significantly improve vascular endothelial function, insulin sensitivity, and markers of inflammation. This improvement may eventually prevent progression of atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Dr Hamdy was a co-investigator in two landmark studies; the “Diabetes Prevention Programme” and “the Look AHEAD Study”. Dr Hamdy founded the “Weight Achievement and Intensive Treatment-Why WAIT?” Programme at the Joslin Diabetes Center in 2005, which is currently implemented nationally and internationally. He is also the author of the Harvard Health Publication “The Diabetes Breakthrough”, which outlines his strategy for long-term diabetes weight management.

Dr Hamdy chaired the task force that developed the Joslin Nutrition Guidelines and currently co-chairs the global task force that developed the Transcultural Diabetes Nutrition Algorithm (tDNA), which leads an effort to improve global health by implementing an effective transcultural lifestyle intervention.

Dr Hamdy won the prestigious 2015 Michaela Modan Award of the American Diabetes Association for his research on long-term diabetes weight management in real-world clinical practice He was nominated by the Harvard Medical School for best mentor award and was given the Compassionate Caregiver Award of the Kenneth Scwartz Center. Dr Hamdy has more than 150 peer-reviewed original articles, reviews and book chapters. He is on the editorial board of several medical journals including US Endocrinology, Journal of Nutritional Disorders & Therapy and 2-times section editor of the Current Diabetes Report. He is a member of the editorial review board of many scientific medical journals including JAMA, Diabetes Care, British Medical Journal and Lancet.


Iain Hennessey, MBCHB
Clinical Director of Innovation, ALDER HEY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

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Iain Hennessey is a consultant pediatric surgeon and director of innovation at the new Alder Hey Children’s Health Park. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with honors degrees in Medicine, Surgery and Anatomical sciences, before going on to train as a pediatric surgeon in the United Kingdom and Australia. He has always been interested in innovation, helping found a start-up surgical simulation company as a trainee and then progressing to become the clinical director of innovation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Notable achievements have included forming partnerships with large multi national companies such as Sony and IBM, building a unique underground 1000sqm innovation facility for collaboration with the tech sector and developing a team of clinician entrepreneurs to drive change within the NHS. All of this was recognized nationally with the prestigious Health Service Journal Improving care with technology award.

He is currently developing a long term strategy to build the world’s first “Living hospital” by adapting emerging technologies to enable the building to care for the children within it, both medically and holistically. This work has encompassed artificial intelligence, advanced sensors, virtual reality and other consumer entertainment technologies.


Alexandru Matei
Data Governance Manager, AETNA INTERNATIONAL

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Alex is currently Data Governance Manager at Aetna International, investigating technologies that can support the full data lifecyle. With an academic background in Software Engineering at University College London, he is also pursuing research on healthcare interoperability and behaviour change for digital health.


Catelijne Muller
Rapporteur, Artificial Intelligence, EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE


William D. Paiva, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Centre for Health Systems Innovation (CHSI), OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

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William D. Paiva, Ph.D., is Executive Director of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Systems Innovation (CHSI). The Center is focused on transforming rural and Native America health through the implementation of innovative care delivery and IT solutions. Within CHSI, the Institute for Predictive Medicine is applying advanced analytics to the largest health care database which includes clinical information for over 63 million patients covering 16 years.

Prior to joining Oklahoma State University, Dr. Paiva was a partner, joined Sevin Rosen Funds, a fund with over $2 billion under management, where he brought more than 20 years of venture-capital, biomedical-industry and management-consulting experience to the firm. William specialized in identifying early-stage venture opportunities at the intersection of traditional technology sectors and healthcare. He also used his healthcare expertise and network to assist Sevin Rosen portfolio companies developing applications and services for the healthcare market. Prior to Sevin Rosen, William was a partner at Chisholm Private Capital Partners, where he managed a $100 million fund focused on healthcare and IT. He also worked as a manager at the Oklahoma Life Science Fund, managing $15 million and making investments in diagnostics, services and therapeutics firms.

Before that, William served as a management consultant for the Life Sciences Industry Group at Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath, later acquired by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he consulted with the top five pharmaceutical companies on product-development and technology-management projects. William also served as an investment banking associate at JP Morgan in New York, providing strategic and investment banking advisory services to Fortune 100 healthcare companies.

William holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Oklahoma; an MBA from Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business; a master’s degree in microbiology and immunology from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center; and a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Oklahoma.


Aris Persidis
President, BIOVISTA

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Aris Persidis is President and co-founder of Biovista. He is responsible for outreach and business development and has helped design the specifications and tracking of the Project Prodigy AI. Aris authored the Industry Trends column for Nature Biotechnology, was a judge for the 2011 Top-10 Innovations of The Scientist and served as the inaugural co-Editor-in-Chief of Drug Rescue, Repurposing and Repositioning. He was SVP, Business Development for Upstate Bio (acquired by Serologicals), Managing Director of Rheogene (acquired by Intrexon), and participated in the cofounding of Cellzome (acquired by GSK), and Anadys (acquired by Roche). Aris was also adjunct assistant professor at Wharton and holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cambridge.


Jonathan Wilkinson, J.D.
Privacy Officer, IBM WATSON HEALTH

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Jon is a Privacy Officer at IBM Watson Health, where he administers a comprehensive privacy support program in support of Watson Health’s SAAS and PAAS healthcare offerings. His work involves implementing privacy by design for artificial intelligence and cognitive decision making tools, compliance with privacy regulations in the US and across the globe, addressing cross-border data transfer rules, supporting senior management in privacy-related risk management determinations, working with cross-functional teams to address product security and privacy breach events, and training and education.

Prior to joining IBM, Jon worked as a Privacy worked in Washington, DC providing privacy and data security compliance services under contracts with the United States Department of the Interior and the United States Department of Transportation. He holds a number of certifications from the International Association of Privacy Professionals, including Certified Information Privacy Professional – United States (CIPP-US), CIPP-G (United States Government), CIPP-E (Europe), Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT), and Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM). He obtained a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from Pace University School of Law.