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UCSF’s Atul Butte to Give Oct. 12 CS Distinguished Lecture on Precision Medicine

October 5, 2015


Dr. Atul Butte leads the Institute for Computational Health Sciences at UC San Francisco.

Dr. Atul Butte, who leads the Institute for Computational Health Sciences at UC San Francisco, will give a talk on “Translating a Trillion Points of Data into Therapies, Diagnostics, and New Insights into Disease” at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12, in the Bldg. 50 Auditorium. Butte’s talk is presented as part of the Computing Sciences Distinguished Lecture Series.

Here is the abstract for his talk: There is an urgent need to take what we have learned in our new “genome era” and use it to create a new system of precision medicine, delivering the best preventative or therapeutic intervention at the right time, for the right patients. Dr. Butte’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco builds and applies tools that convert trillions of points of molecular, clinical, and epidemiological data -- measured by researchers and clinicians over the past decade and now commonly termed “big data” – into diagnostics, therapeutics, and new insights into disease. Dr. Butte, a computer scientist and pediatrician, will highlight how publicly-available molecular measurements to find new uses for drugs including drugs for inflammatory bowel disease and cancer, discovering new diagnostics for complications during pregnancy, and how the next generation of biotech companies might even start in your garage.

In January 2015, UCSF announced the Butte would was recruited by UCSF to lead the new Institute for Computational Health Sciences, which will serve as a cornerstone of the university’s efforts to harness the power of “big data,” to lead to faster and more effective cures for patients worldwide. The institute is a core element of UCSF’s campuswide efforts in what is known as precision medicine – a growing field that aims to take advantage of new advances in computer technology to mine the immense amounts of data being generated by biomedical research and clinical care, including vast new understanding of human genetics.

In announcing his appointment, UCSF said “A noted expert in pediatrics and medical informatics at Stanford University, Dr. Butte brings the rare combination of deep knowledge in medicine and biomedical research, and technological fluency to lead in the new realm of computational health.”

Prior to joining UCSF, Butte was chief of the Division of Systems Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Butte studied computer science at Brown University and received his M.D. degree from Brown's Alpert Medical School in 1995. He did a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology, both at Children's Hospital Boston. In 2004, he earned his Ph.D. from the Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

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