Keynote Speakers

- Peter D. Karp, Director Bioinformatics Research Group, Artificial Intelligence Center, United States
          Title: Databases and Algorithms for Pathway Bioinformatics

- Rui M. C. Ferreira, National Coordinator for Cardiovascular Diseases, Office of the High Commissioner for Health, Portugal
          Title: Health and Medical Information Systems - A Demanding Perspective

- Tony Cass, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London, U.K.
          Title: Molecules to Devices: The Role of Engineering in Next Generation Point of Care Tests

- Vicente Traver, ITACA, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain
          Title: Personal Health: The New Paradigm to make Sustainable the Health Care System
Keynote Lecture 1
Databases and Algorithms for Pathway Bioinformatics
Brief Bio
Peter D. Karp is director of the Bioinformatics Research Group within the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI International. Dr. Karp has authored more than 100 publications in bioinformatics and computer science. He received the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1989, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Dr. Karp is the bioinformatics architect of the EcoCyc and MetaCyc databases. He has developed algorithms for visualization of metabolic pathways, and for prediction of metabolic pathways from genome data. His research interests include metabolic pathway bioinformatics, genome annotation, scientific visualization, biological ontologies, and database interoperation.

Comprehensive knowledge of metabolic pathways is required in a variety of applications including biofuels and drug discovery. A family of hundreds of Pathway/Genome Databases (PGDBs) now exists for organisms with sequenced genomes. These databases share a common schema, facilitating interoperation and comparative analysis. Many are highly curated, including PGDBs for E. coli, yeast, mouse, and Arabidopsis.
The BioCyc PGDB collection developed by SRI contains PGDBs for more than 500 organisms. Common to these PGDBs is their derivation from the MetaCyc PGDB. MetaCyc contains 1,400 experimentally elucidated metabolic pathways found in 1,800 organisms. The MetaCyc data were curated from 21,000 publications.

Also common to these PGDBs is the Pathway Tools software, which contains a large suite of algorithms for manipulating biological networks and genome data. Pathway Tools includes inference modules for inferring the metabolic pathways of an organism, and for predicting which genes fill missing reactions in the predicted pathways. It includes extensive visualization tools for individual metabolic pathways, for complete metabolic networks, and for complete regulatory networks. These visualization tools can also be used for analysis of omics datasets. Pathway Tools also contains algorithms for systems biology analyses of metabolic networks, including detection of dead-end metabolites and reachability analysis.
Keynote Lecture 2
Health and Medical Information Systems - A Demanding Perspective
Brief Bio
Dr. Rui Manuel Cruz Ferreira is, since June 2008, National Coordinator for Cardiovascular Diseases at the Office of the High Commissioner for Health, a central service of the Ministry of Health. Having gotten his degree in Medicine at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the New University of Lisbon, Dr. Rui Ferreira was, among several other accomplishments in the field of Cardiology, appointed Head of the Cardiology Service at the Santa Marta Hospital (in 2006), and elected as Chairman of the Governing Board of the College of Specialty in Cardiology (2006).
Dr. Rui Ferreira's research work involves activities such as the coordination of the Registers: "GRACE", "RIVIERA", "European Heart Survey on Acute Coronary Syndromes", "VOLCANO", "e-Select" and "Endeavor Five"; and the national coordination of the clinical trial "SEPIA-TIMI 42".
Author or co-author of 482 scientific papers, Dr. Rui Ferreira published, by request of the International Cardiology Forum, the "Recommendations for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Unstable Angina and Non-Q-Wave Infarction", and took (2003) editorial command of the Magazine "Circulação", the Portuguese language edition of "Circulation", the official journal of the American Heart Association.

Biomedical Informatics and Health Information Systems are very complex: they cover a large spectrum of data and their internal structure is dense. They can be compared to systems supporting big multinational companies where there are small private systems installed in local branches coexisting with a central system receiving selected and specific information from the local ones. The health care institutions appeared very long ago, before any information tool was available, even before telephone was invented. So some of their culture has not yet been adapted to the new technologies, as it happens in other areas, for instance, financial institutions. The usage of IT systems hasn’t been installed as a routine, highlighting the importance of mandatory implementation of deep organizational changes in the current methods of work.
Increasing this problem, people taking decision, the management staff, usually don’t see the overall problem. They are mainly worried with administrative data, budgets, staff management and financial problems. So, many times, they prefer a strong “controlling system” with poor or none clinical components.
If we think carefully, we realize that medical practice in an intensive information use environment. Physicians, nurses and other technicians need reliable and useful data sets to make correct diagnosis and, in result, deliver good clinical practice and patient care. The information’s systems could and must be a precious tool for that purpose. The main objective is to develop a system which presents the right information, and help avoid confusion with unnecessary sensitive information.
In this presentation we describe some technical issues related with the development of end users systems based on our own, two decades, experience, emphasizing the importance of close cooperation between IT Technicians and Clinical staff.
Finally, we will present a Portuguese national project, a cardiovascular diseases registry, as an example of a system support for strategic decision in health care.
Keynote Lecture 3
Molecules to Devices: The Role of Engineering in Next Generation Point of Care Tests
Brief Bio
Tony Cass is currently Professor of Chemical Biology, Deputy Director and Research Director (Bionanotechnology) in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
He trained originally as a chemist with degrees from the Universities of York and Oxford. His research interests are in the field of analytical biotechnology and particularly in the use of protein engineering and design to produce new reagents for biosensors and bioanalysis. He pioneered the use of synthetic electron transfer mediators for enzyme biosensors and his work in this area led to the development of the first electronic blood glucose measuring system, commercialised by MediSense Inc. (now part of Abbott Diagnostics), and the award of the Royal Society's Mullard Medal (along with Professor HAO Hill FRS and Dr MJ Green).
Most of his current research is focussed on using engineered proteins and peptides in a micro-and nano-structured materials and devices for both clinical and high throughput analysis.
In addition to his academic research, he is a member of several Research Council Committees, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Oxford Biosensors and has acted as a consultant to several European and US biotechnology companies. He is a member of the advisory board of International Pharmaceutical Training Ltd. He has published over 80 papers and edited 3 books and is on the editorial boards of Biosensors and Bioelectronics and IEE Proceedings Nanobiotechnology. In addition he is a Visiting Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Point of Care Tests (PoCT) offer many advantages in the management of disease and the maintenance of health by providing information in a timely fashion to the individual or their primary carer. Enhancing and extending PoCT’s will require the discovery of new prognostic biomarkers, the engineering of molecular receptors that recognise these markers in complex samples, the design of new, minimally invasive sampling tools and the exploitation of novel sensing modalities. Whilst each of these areas offers exciting challenges for biology, chemistry and engineering it is their integration and overlay with informatics for decision support that will determine their ultimate adoption. Engineering at every length scale from the molecular up to the final device will contribute and my presentation will pay particular attention to the role of gene technology, nanotechnology and microfluidics in enabling the next generation of devices for PoCT.
Keynote Lecture 4
Personal Health: The New Paradigm to make Sustainable the Health Care System
Vicente Traver
ITACA, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia
Brief Bio
Dr. Vicente Traver has a Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications Engineering (1998) and a Ph.D. (2004) from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. He is currently Assistant Professor at UPV and General Manager of the Health & Wellbeing Technologies Area in ITACA (ITACA-TSB). He has participated in ten different EU funded projects within the 4th, 5th and 6th Framework Programme and in Spanish funded projects, dealing with ICT for healthcare and social services. He has published more than 50 technical papers in national and international journals and has participated in several seminars and conferences. His research is focused on the provision of home healthcare services through telematic media. He was the rapporteur of ITU SG16 Q.28 'Multimedia Framework for e-health applications' and the secretary of eHealth Standardization Coordination Group (2001-2008). He is also member of the Editorial Board of IEE Proceedings – Communications and cofounder of two spin-offs dealing with ICT and health.

The Keynote will be focused on the chronic conditions and how they are currently managed, the raising costs to cope with such diseases, and the need of a new paradigm where information communication technologies and patient empowerment will be the tools to drive towards a new sustainable health system based on a patient centered approach.