8 May, 2023

Joint Workshop on Big Data and Biomedical and Chemical Science

Co-organized by the HKUST Big Data Institute (BDI) and Division of Life Science, the HKUST BDI Workshop on Big Data and Biomedical and Chemical Science was successfully held on 8 May 2023 in HKUST Clear Water Bay campus. The workshop brought together participants with diverse background and experience, including faculty members, students, researchers, as well as industry representatives from different fields and disciplines. HKUST faculty members from Clear Water Bay and Guangzhou campuses and several technology experts in biomedical science industry were invited to deliver presentations and share knowledge on the most advanced progress in the area of adapting AI and data techniques in biomedicine and biochemistry.

Prof. CHEN Lei, Director of BDI welcomed the participants and kicked off the workshop with introduction of BDI’s latest development. Prof. Chen highlighted a number of research and applications that were collaboratively developed by BDI and leading companies in the industry. Prof. Chen emphasized the importance of cross-disciplinarily collaboration for promoting technological innovations and making research breakthroughs.

In the morning session, Dr. Frank Pun, Head of HK Office and Associate Director, Insilico Medicine gave a keynote speech to discuss how AI is transforming drug discoveries. Dr. Pun introduced a number of innovative platforms with integration of AI in the drug discovery processes and shared the successful cases and applications.

Prof. HUANG Yong, Professor, Department of Chemistry, HKUST delivered another keynote speech in the afternoon session titled “Discovery of a potent type I1/2 ALK inhibitor”.

Apart from the keynote speeches, several excellent talks were presented by HKUST faculty and industry leader in the workshop.

Prof. WANG Jiguang, Padma Harilela Associate Professor of Life Science, Associate Professor, Division of Life Science and Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, HKUST delivered a presentation titled “Deciphering cancer evolution under therapy for precision medicine”.

Prof. YANG Can, Dr Tai-chin Lo Associate Professor of Science, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, HKUST delivered a presentation titled “A unified approach for integrating spatial and single-cell transcriptomics data using deep generative models”.

Prof. LI Jia, Assistant Professor, Data Science and Analytics Thrust, HKUST (Guangzhou) delivered a presentation titled “Hierarchical graph neural networks for protein-protein interaction”.

Dr. ZHU Kai, Senior Director of Computational Chemistry and AI, BeiGene also delivered a presentation titled “Data and modeling in drug discovery: Lessons from ALPHAFOLD and MELLODDY”.

At the end of the workshop, Prof. LIU Kai, Cheng Associate Professor of Science, Associate Professor, Division of Life Science, HKUST hosted a panel discussion session to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in using data science and AI in biomedicine and biochemistry related research and development. Faculty members and industry leaders shared a lot of useful tips with the audiences and offered valuable advice on applying different AI models in the research work in biomedicine and biochemistry domains, fostering meaningful and fruitful exchange between academia and industry as well as facilitating cross-disciplinary collaboration.