The Future of Data-Driven Medicine

Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT

District Architecture Center (421 7th St NW, Washington, DC)

With the advent of electronic health records, low-cost genome sequencing, molecular imaging, and wearable devices, the digital footprint of the average patient is rapidly expanding. As an increasing number of data scientists and computer scientists join those on the front lines of medical research and these researchers gain access to an enormous amount of computing power in the cloud, there will be unprecedented opportunities to use data to accelerate medical research and develop more cost-effective, personalized treatments.

The Center for Data Innovation will host a public forum with key stakeholders from government, the private sector, and academia to discuss the latest developments in using data to improve health care outcomes, reduce health care costs, and empower patients. In particular, this event will focus on the successful ways the pharmaceutical industry is using data to create more value in health care, especially by using data to drive down costs, bring drugs to market faster, and address the needs of different patient populations.

24 days
13 hours
17 minutes
20 seconds


Neil Chilson

Senior Research Fellow for Technology and Innovation

Charles Koch Institute

Neil Chilson is the Senior Research Fellow for Technology and Innovation at the Charles Koch Institute. His research guides the Institute’s ongoing efforts to promote digital free speech and free association, to lower and eliminate barriers to innovation, and to foster a culture that welcomes innovation as the best way to improve individual and societal well-being.

Before joining CKI, Neil was the Chief Technologist at the Federal Trade Commission. His work focused on understanding the economics of privacy, convening a workshop on informational injury, and establishing the FTC’s Blockchain Working Group, among other things. Prior to his appointment, he was an advisor to Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. In both roles he advised Chairman Ohlhausen and worked with Commission staff on nearly every major technology-related case, report, workshop, or other proceeding since January 2014, when he joined her office. Neil joined the FTC from Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, where he advised clients on telecommunications, privacy, cybersecurity, and other matters.

Neil has a J.D. from The George Washington Law School, a M.S. in computer science from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S. in computer science from Harding University.

Daniel Castro


Center for Data Innovation

Daniel Castro is the director of the Center for Data Innovation and vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Mr. Castro writes and speaks on a variety of issues related to information technology and internet policy, including data, privacy, security, intellectual property, internet governance, e-government, and accessibility for people with disabilities. His work has been quoted and cited in numerous media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, USA Today, Bloomberg News, and Businessweek. In 2013, Mr. Castro was named to FedScoop’s list of “Top 25 most influential people under 40 in government and tech.” In 2015, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Mr. Castro to the Commerce Data Advisory Council. Mr. Castro previously worked as an IT analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he audited IT security and management controls at various government agencies. He contributed to GAO reports on the state of information security at a variety of federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In addition, Mr. Castro was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he developed virtual training simulations to provide clients with hands-on training of the latest information security tools. He has a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an M.S. in Information Security Technology and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Faisal M. Khan

Executive Director of Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence


Faisal M. Khan, PhD is an Executive Director of Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence at Astrazeneca. He is a highly regarded expert in the intersections of data science, biostatistics, bioimaging, personalized medicine and healthcare delivery. His career has encompassed all aspects of healthcare and biomedical analytics, including diagnostics, devices, clinical trials\therapeutics, and payers. He has worked or consulted across academia and industry, including startups and Fortune-50 companies. He has over 90 published papers, abstracts and patents.

Qingsong Zhu


Insilico Medicine

Dr. Qingsong Zhu is the Chief Operating Officer of Insilico Medicine, Inc. and is responsible for Insilico Medicine operations and drug development. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from Kansas State University in biochemistry. Dr. Zhu received his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins under the supervision of Dr. Nancy Davidson in breast cancer field. He has over 12 years of experience in genomics research and drug development. His latest entrepreneurial endeavors focused on improving the early diagnosis and personalized treatment of cancer and other age-related diseases.

Robert Kowalski

Head of Regulatory Affairs


Rob Kowalski is currently the Head of Regulatory Affairs for Novartis and the US Head of Global Drug Development, based in East Hanover, New Jersey, USA.

Under his leadership, Rob has successfully brought dozens of new products to the market, including many new chemical entities across a wide array of therapeutic areas in the small molecule, biologics, and Cell & Gene Therapy spaces. In addition, he has been fortunate in his career to be able to work on innovative therapies and important access medicines in the areas of rare diseases, pediatrics, devices, companion diagnostics, digital medicine and new technologies (smart devices), and biosimilars.

Rob has 25 years of regulatory and drug development experience in the industry, including past regulatory leadership roles at Pharmacia (now Pfizer) and Schering-Plough (now Merck). Rob has also previously served as the Global Head of Development Medical Affairs for Novartis.

In addition to being an active member in multiple professional organizations, Rob currently serves as the Chair of PhRMA’s Regulatory Affairs Committee and recently completed his term as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the R&D Council of New Jersey. Rob was a member of the FDA Rare Disease Advisory Panel and an industry representative for both PDUFA V and VI reauthorization negotiations. He is also a member of the TOPRA and Industry Pharmacists Organization Advisory Boards.

Rob attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he received both a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Doctorate in Pharmacy. Rob completed his post-doctoral training at Rutgers University / Sandoz Pharmaceuticals and has trained at the Executive Forum of the Harvard Business School.




  1. 13:00 PM - 13:05 PM : Introduction & Welcome

    Daniel Castro, Director of the Center for Data Innovation, will kick off Data Innovation Day 2018.

  2. 13:05 PM - 13:20 PM : Opening Keynote: The Impact of AI on Drug Discovery

    Dr. Qingsong Zhu, COO of Insilico Medicine, will discuss the impact AI is having on drug discovery and what this means for the industry, patients, and regulators.

  3. 13:20 PM - 14:30 PM : Panel 1: Accelerating Data-Driven Drug Discovery

    Pharmaceutical research is an increasingly data-driven process. Researchers are using artificial intelligence to automate the drug discovery and development processes. For example, researchers can use recommendation algorithms to predict which untested compounds show the most promise and send these for more advanced testing in the lab. Similarly, researchers are using machine learning techniques and image recognition technology to extract biological insights from new experimental compounds. And researchers are making significant advances in using in silico research methods to predict how patients might respond to various experimental treatments. What are the opportunities and challenges that will arise from these advances in data-driven medical research, and how can government help accelerate these types of innovations?

  4. 14:30 PM - 14:40 PM : Break
  5. 14:40 PM - 15:50 PM : Panel 2: The Future of Data-Driven Clinical Trials

    New technologies, particularly wearables and mobile apps, present new opportunities for collecting data during clinical trials, while the growth of electronic health records and online communities creates new opportunities to recruit qualified participants for clinical trials as well as using new research designs that embed clinical research into traditional medical care. What are the technical, organizational, and legal obstacles to data sharing in clinical research settings, and what improvements would allow patients, researchers, and companies to extract more value from health data? Moreover, how can policymakers support growing the patient data pool, increasing data sharing, and addressing the needs of diverse populations, including patients that suffer from rare diseases?

  6. 15:50 PM - 17:00 PM : Panel 3: Modernizing Regulatory Processes for Data-Driven Medicine

    Proper government oversight of medical products is responsible for delivering safe, effective, and affordable treatments to patients. As drug research and development and clinical trials evolve to make use of expanding data sets and new technologies, regulatory agencies need to keep pace with these changes. For example, regulatory agencies can use artificial intelligence to analyze diverse data sets to improve the speed and accuracy of regulatory decisions, as well as enhance post-market surveillance. How are regulatory agencies adapting to recent innovations in medical research, and how can better use of data improve the regulatory review process?


Center for Data Innovation