Speech Introduce
NIH Open Data Platforms for Collaborative Medical Research
Abstract Of Speech

Although recent advances in the technology of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are fast evolving, many challenges exist in translating those advances to routine clinical practices to benefit patient care. Many data scientists from industries including pharma, startups, as well as academics and research institutions around the world are racing to explore the potential of utilizing AI to drive medical innovations and advance health care. It is believed that future data-driven biomedical discoveries and medical breakthroughs for better health outcomes can be substantially accelerated through ML/AI technology, for example, precision medicine.

In 2018, NIH has established a strategic plan for data science with commitments to the creation and stewardship of large open biomedical datasets (e.g. repositories) with analytics platforms to enable collaborative ML/AI research to accelerate the transitional clinical applications. In addition, NIH has committed to FAIR principles, that is, making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable with FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) which is an application programming interface (API)-focused standard used to represent and exchange health information to facilitate data sharing and collaboration while protecting data security and privacy. In this presentation, we will discuss and share the strategy and technical approaches in building large open biomedical data repositories to enable ML/AI research including examples from several NIH funded data platforms. The current limitations, including data standards, availability, quality, ethics, interoperability, and sharing as well as lack of transparency and interpretability / explainability in ML/AI tool development will also be discussed.

Invited Speaker
Name : Yang C. Fann, Ph.D.

Current Position :
Director, Clinical Informatics

Affiliation : National Institutes of Health

e-mail : fann@ninds.nih.gov

Dr. Fann is the Director of IT and Bioinformatics Program overseeing the IT infrastructure support and developing biomedical informatics research programs at NINDS NIH. He is also a principal investigator for the Informatics Core of Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine working on building the informatics infrastructure for the National Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI) Study, a collaborative research program of the DoD and NIH.

Recently, Dr. Fann has taken on as the Director of Clinical Informatics for the National Institutes of Health’s Intramural Research Program (IRP). In this role, he has responsibility of addressing a wide range of clinical informatics challenges related to the clinical research program of NIH IRP.

He is currently leading a strategic planning initiative aiming to assess and develop a new vision for clinical informatics within the IRP. It will also focus on providing informatics solutions for the investigators that aim to reduce barriers for collaboration, simplifies compliance and enable data sharing through the implementation of a data ecosystem with interoperability with other relevant IRP-wide systems such as e-IRB, CRIS and IC clinical information systems.


Ph.D., Computational Chemistry, Temple University, USA

Work Experience

2002 – Present Director, Intramural IT and Bioinformatics Program, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD.

2022 – Present Chair, Bioinformatics Core Steering Committee, Porter Neuroscience Research Center, NIH, Bethesda, MD

2022 – Present Member, NIH STRIDEs Enterprise Cloud Advisory Committee, NIH, Bethesda, MD

2021 – Present Director, Clinical Informatics, Office of Intramural Research, Office of the Director, NIH, Bethesda, MD

2020 – Present Editorial Board, Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, Elsevier Publisher.

2014 – Present Member, NIH Executive IT Budget Advisory Committee (IT-BAC), Bethesda, MD.

2012 – Present Member, NIH High Performance Computing and Network Working Group, Bethesda, MD

2012 - Present Member, NIH Biomedical Informatics Coordination (BMIC) Working Group, Bethesda, MD

2012 – Present Member, Clinical Center IT Advisory Group (ITAG), NIH, Bethesda, MD.

2010 – Present Member, NHGRI Microarray Core Steering Committee, NIH, Bethesda, MD

2009 – Present Principal Investigator, Informatics Core, The Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM), National DoD/NIH TBI Research Program, Bethesda, MD.

2007 – Present Co-Chair, Clinical Center BTRIS Steering Committee, NIH, Bethesda, MD.

Areas Of Expertise

Computational biology, bioinformatics, clinical informatics, and applying information technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to advance translational biomedical research.

Ueng-Cheng Yang
Current Positions

Professor, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

Director, Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

Vice Director, Digital Medicine and Smart Healthcare Research Center, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University


Director, Information and Communication Center, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

Director, Institute of Biomedical Informatics, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

Vice President, Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNet)