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Current  Speakers

Poorya is an associate at Flagship Pioneering, working as part of a team of entrepreneurial scientists to conceive, create, resource and develop the next generation of Flagship’s first-in-category ventures. He is a founding member of VL49 Inc. (stealth mode) that aims to leverage cutting-edge computational tools in combination with biological omics to develop pioneering therapeutic solutions for cancer, immune, and inflammatory diseases.

Prior to joining the firm, Poorya completed his doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Poorya’s thesis work at MIT focused on the development of advanced label-free imaging techniques for studying biophysical properties of cells and tissues. Poorya has received several awards for his academic work, including the Edison Award for Impactful Research at MIT and the Iranian-American Medical Association’s Young Investigator Award for his work on anemic disorders. In addition to his scientific and entrepreneurial focus, Poorya is deeply interested in political science broadly, international relations, playing all sort of sports and fishing!

John Veytsman is a Sr. Business Analyst within Biogen's R&D Information Technology group. He has a breadth of experience working across different functional domains ranging from Commercial to R&D and now in clinical devices / digital biomarkers. He has been a key advocate for artificial intelligence approaches to solving strategic problems across Biogen. He has played an instrumental role in the conceptualization and implementation of AI based solutions, ranging from target ID and validation initiatives in early discovery research to company-wide collaboration initiatives.

Poorya Hosseini


Flagship Pioneering

John Veytsman

Senior Business Analyst


Previous  Speakers

James Cuff, Ph.D.

Distinguished Technical Author

The Next Platform

Dr. James Cuff, former Assistant Dean and Distinguished Engineer for Research Computing at Harvard, has joined The Next Platform’s editorial team as a Distinguished Technical Author.  As the leading publication covering distributed systems in research and large enterprise, Dr. Cuff rounds out a seasoned editorial team that delivers in-depth analysis from the worlds of supercomputing, artificial intelligence, cloud and hyperscale datacenters, and the many other technology areas that comprise the highest end of today’s IT ecosystems. 


Dr. Cuff brings significant real-world, large-scale systems and software experiences to bear following a twenty-year career in what he calls “practical supercomputing.” Among a host of other experiences, James supported the initial teams who annotated multiple genomes at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

Long Phi Le, M.D.,Ph.D.

Assistant in Pathology

Mass General Hospital

Assistant Professor of Pathology

Harvard Medical School

Dr. Long Phi Le is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1999) and received his MD and PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine in 2006. He completed his residency training in Clinical Pathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and his Molecular Genetic Pathology Fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital (2010).


He joined the Mass General Pathology Department in 2010. His clinical and research interests in the Center for Integrated Diagnostics (formerly the Diagnostic Molecular Pathology Laboratory) include the application of copy number analysis, next generation sequencing, and bioinformatics in molecular diagnostics.

Clark Leininger

Sr. Manager

Massachusetts Lab Data Informatics


Clark Leininger leads the Massachusetts Lab Data Informatics (MLDi) team within Research & Early Clinical Development Business Technology at Pfizer.  MLDi is responsible for lab data workflows from the configuration of lab computers through the archival of data post-analysis and possesses expertise in Chromatography, Imaging, Flow Cytometry, and Mass Spec-based Omics technologies. 


In addition to leadership of the MLDi group Clark acts as the IT lead for several site & global initiatives including Kendall Square’s Technology Centers, Visiting Scientist Program, and Lab Data Workflow Enhancements.  In 2016 Clark launched Pfizer’s first Data Steward Council in Kendall Square and has since launched four additional Councils as well as a Coordination Team to share best practices across Councils. 

Kamil Isaev, Ph.D.

Director, Solutions Architecture

Dell EMC

Kamil Isaev is a Director, Solutions Architecture, at Dell EMC. In this role, he is responsible for development of industry-focused solutions in various verticals (Healthcare, Energy, Public Sector), jointly with Dell EMC Partners (System integrators, Service providers and SW vendors). In 2013-2016, he was a Vice President of EMC Corporation, and a General Manager of EMC Moscow R&D Center. Center’s primary focus was on Solutions for Life Sciences.


Before joining EMC, Isaev worked for Intel where he held a number of leadership positions. From 2010 through 2013 he served as Intel Russia’s R&D GM. In this role he was responsible for Intel’s R&D operation in Russia, including development and implementation of Intel Russia strategy covering Academic, Government relations and Innovation programs. Over 16 years of his service for Intel, Kamil has made a significant contribution to strengthening Intel Russia’s reputation as one of the most visible and respected R&D centers in the country.  


Prior to Intel, Kamil Isaev worked for Russian Academy of Sciences, Coca-Cola, and Lancer.  He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Moscow State University, and honorary medal named after academician Tikhonov for his contribution to support of education in Computer Science and IT.

Paul Honrud



Paul Honrud brings more than 27 years of experience in data management and storage along with a wealth of knowledge in growing technology based businesses.


Prior to founding DataFrameworks, Mr. Honrud served in business development roles at Baydel, and Systems Industries. Mr. Honrud holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Masters of Business Administration from San Diego State University.

Jason Lohrey

Chief Technical Officer 


Jason Lohrey is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of Arcitecta. He is the technical lead for Arcitecta’s big data management platform Mediaflux.


Jason is a native of Melbourne, Australia. He has a degree in Physics and Computer Science (in the days when computing was deemed a science), augmented with Fine Arts.


He has experience in industrial control systems, media and entertainment, commercial, government and research sectors. He was part of the Academy Award winning Cineon team at Kodak and at the leading edge of digitization of the motion picture industry before moving to Canada to work with Discreet Logic in the mid-1990s.


At a residency in 2002 at the property of one of Australia’s leading 20th Century painters (Arthur Boyd), Jason penned the first lines of software for Mediaflux. The primary thesis: to create a system that facilitates the management of huge amounts of disparate data and metadata over evolutionary periods of time – to improve the quality and outcomes of research / science through better data management. In 2006 he decided that most database technologies were insufficient for this objective and created the Mediaflux database engine XODB.


For the past decade Jason and Arcitecta have worked closely with the research community (universities, government research organizations, clinical, clinical research, wildlife and animal health, etc.) as collaborator, co-author and provider of data management technology and expertise.


Jason’s 28-year professional career has been entirely focused on designing data management and database systems/engines with the last 15 years centered on big-meta/data.

Jason Coposky

Executive Director

iRODS Consortium

Jason Coposky is the executive director of iRODS Consortium. He leads the iRODS Consortium and the iRODS development team at RENCI. With over 20 years of industry experience, Jason has worked in a variety of technical fields, including virtual reality, EDA, visualization, and data management.


Prior to RENCI, Jason was technical director for a startup where he developed projection and distortion correction technologies. Jason began his tenure at RENCI as the first member of the visualization team, creating novel large format display and multi-touch systems. He then moved to the iRODS@RENCI project as technical lead and later became chief technologist of the iRODS Consortium. In his current role, he provides management oversight for the entire Consortium.

Scott Yockel, Ph.D.

Senior Team Lead of HPC

Harvard University, Research Computing

Scott Yockel, PhD, joined Harvard Research Computing in February 2015 as Senior Team Lead of HPC.  Prior making the move from Dallas to Boston, he was Manager of HPC Services and Chemistry Faculty at University of North Texas.  His research domain expertise is in Computational Chemistry with an overlap of Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering. 


Having been on both sides of HPC, as a researcher for 9 years and administrator for 15 years, he values the importance of providing efficient and streamlined computing resources that expedite the process of scientific breakthroughs.  When not staring at the screen, he enjoys cycling and hiking through the New England countryside.

Jon Bloom, Ph.D.

Principal Software Engineer

Broad Institute

Jon Bloom, Principal Software Engineer, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard,  is a mathematician, engineer, and co-founder of the Hail project ( at the Broad Institute, building an open-source framework for scalable genomic analysis. He also co-founded and directs the Models, Inference & Algorithms Initiative (, bridging computational biology, mathematical theory and machine learning. 


Prior to joining the Broad, he did research in geometry and algebraic topology as a Moore Instructor and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While there, he re-architected the department’s course 18.05 on probability and statistics for life scientists, now among the popular offerings on MIT OpenCourseWare. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and Ph.D. from Columbia University in Mathematics.

Peter V Henstock, Ph.D.

Senior Principal Scientist

Pfizer, Inc.

Peter V. Henstock is a senior data scientist in the pharmaceutical industry where he leads efforts to provide data analysis solutions leveraging statistics, machine learning, data visualization, and software engineering.

Previously, he worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory on statistical image pattern recognition and text mining problems. He holds a PhD in artificial intelligence and master's degrees in signal/image processing, applied linguistics, biology, and software engineering.

Dan Greenfield, Ph.D.



Dr Dan Greenfield is the CEO of PetaGene Ltd. Working in collaboration with Dr. Stegle’s group at EMBL-EBI, Dr. Greenfield led the development of PetaGene’s genomics compression technology, PetaSuite, which won Best of Show at BioIT World in 2016.  Prior to PetaGene, Dr Greenfield spent many years working on ground breaking products in Silicon Valley in parallel computing and advanced networking.  He has a Masters in Bioinformatics, and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge was awarded the CHPC/BCS Prize for the top Computer Science PhD dissertation in the UK.

Chris Dagdigian

Co-founder & Principal Consultant


Bioinformaticist-gone-bad Chris Dagdigian has spent much of the last 15 years designing, building, fixing and improving research-focused HPC and IT systems for use in demanding production computing environments. He occasionally is known to blog, tweet and speak about industry trends and best practices.

Cyril Benes, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Harvard Medical School

The Benes laboratory, known as The Center for Molecular Therapeutics, is engaged in the design and application of personalized therapies for cancer. Targeted cancer treatments have emerged from research studies showing that the biology of cancer cells differs from that of healthy cells, and that each person’s cancer has a unique genetic signature. Their goal is to pinpoint the cancer cells’ biological weak points and then to attack those weak points with smart drugs that are specifically designed for such an attack. Using a large collection of human cancer cell lines, the lab has made major advances in identifying molecular genetic features, or biomarkers, of a tumor that predict responsiveness to targeted therapies. The Benes lab is focused on developing molecular diagnostics that will reveal the best treatment course for each patient and on discovering how gene mutations in cancer can be exploited to develop new treatments.

Jason Tetrault

Director, Data and Advanced Analytics


Jason currently leads the Data Science team in Biogen’s Digital Health Technology and Data Science organization.  He has spent the past few years focusing on applying cloud scale and big data techniques to large questions in Pharmaceutical R&D.  Previous to this, he was a software startup geek serving many roles focusing on mobile and large-scale web applications.

Katie Shakun

Associate Director, IT Operations

Broad Institute

Katie Shakun started in August 2014 as the Manager of Operations for the Broad Institute. Storage operations, the High Performance Computing group and database administration reported up through her organization. Since then, data center management, the Network team, the Dev Ops group and the VMWare and AD environments have also moved within her purview.
For 14 years prior to August 2014 she was at Boston University in the College of Engineering, first in their Career Development Office and then transitioning into the IT group. She spent 11 years in the Engineering IT group, four years as their Director of IT, managing everything from web application development and VMWare server deployment to desktop support and computer lab reimaging.

Steve Litster

Global Head of Scientific Computing,

Novartis Institutes For BioMedical Research


Sarah Aerni
Principal Data Scientist,

Sarah Aerni is the Principal Data Scientist at Pivotal. She joined Pivotal from Stanford University where she performed interdisciplinary research at the interface of biomedicine and computer science, specifically machine learning. She focused her efforts on building computational models enabling research for a broad range of fields in biomedicine.


She holds a B.S. In Biology with a specialization in Bioinformatics and minor in French Literature from UCSD, and an M.S. and Ph.D in Biomedical Informatics from Stanford University. In addition to academic research, she has experience in consulting, co-founding a company offering expert services in informatics for both academic and industry settings. Beyond her interests in biomedical informatics, she is passionate about education and fostering interdisciplinary collaboration.

Jason Bobe

Associate Professor and Director

Sharing Lab, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology

Mount Sinai School of Medicine &

Executive Director

Jason Bobe is Associate Professor and director of the Sharing Lab at the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.


He attempts to produce research efforts that people actually want to join. He works on prototyping collaborative and participatory models of biomedical research and citizen science. With a focus on (a) greatly expanding the rates of participation in organized health research, (b) broadening the types of contributions participants in research are able to make, (c) promoting discovery & engagement through participant-centered research design and “equal access” data sharing practices, (d) the creation of well-consented public resources via the “open consent” framework, (e) building research networks and communities of practice around emerging technologies.

At Mount Sinai, he is a leader of the Resilience Project, an effort to learn how some people are able avoid disease despite having certain genetic risk factors.


Since 2007, he has been working to develop a global network of Personal Genome Project (PGP) research studies that collaborate on the development and evaluation personal genomic technologies and practices at increasing scales. The first site was founded at Harvard Medical School in 2005 by George Church, followed by sites at Hospital for Sick Kids / University Toronto (2012), University College London (2013), and the Center for Molecular Medicine in Vienna (2014) – with many more sites under development.

He is co-founder and director of two 501(c)(3) nonprofits, (with George Church) and (with Mac Cowell).


He also produces the annual Genomes Environments Traits (GET) Conference, which brings together leading thinkers to discuss how we measure and understand people and their traits. And the uniquely interactive series called GET Labs, where highly-characterized, informed participants can find a global network of collaboration-minded researchers who wish to study them.

Most recently, he is co-founder (with Madeleine Ball) and project director of Open Humans, a project backed by Knight and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that invites individuals to build highly integrated, longitudinal research profiles that can be easily donated to advance medical breakthroughs.

Previously, he was director of business development for DNA Direct (acquired by Medco, now Express Scripts).

In his spare time, he operates a volunteer-led biohacker hotline for biosafety education.



Paolo Narvaez is a Principal Engineer with Intel’s Health and Life Sciences group. He is responsible for technology pathfinding and developing innovative computational solutions in the life sciences space. He is currently the lead architect of the Collaborative Cancer Cloud, a life sciences computational platform that enables secure distributed computation over federated datasets. Prior to working at Intel, Paolo held lead architectural roles at Bell Labs, RMI (acquired by Broadcom), and Sycamore Networks. Paolo has an S.B., M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Paolo Narvaez, Ph.D.

Principal Engineer

Health and Life Sciences


Steve manages the Scientific Computing group at NIBR specializing in the application of High Performance and Cloud Computing to advance drug discovery.


After obtaining his PhD in Chemical Crystallography in 1992, he continued his research career at the University of Calgary. During this time he was exposed to his first “super computer”-the Fujitsu VPX240, and realized the impact HPCC could have on scientific discovery. This was followed by a move to Harvard University in 1998 working under the supervision of Professors Don Wiley and Steve Harrison in the area of macromolecular and computational crystallography.

Following a brief adventure into telecom startups, he came back into the scientific computing world as HPC lead at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. In 2004 he joined Novartis where he remains today.

Chris Dwan

Acting Director, IT

Director, Research Computing and Data Services

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Chris Dwan leads Research Computing at the Broad Institute. In that role he is responsible for a team that provides data and computational services, as well as high throughput genomic analysis, to more than 3,000 researchers at one of the top genomic science institutions in the world. He is also serving as the Acting Director of IT.


From 2011 through 2014, Dwan helped to build the New York Genome Center. NYGC was founded by a unique collaboration of 13 biomedical research institutions in and around Manhattan. Chris was responsible for all of the computing, data storage, and network infrastructure for the first two years of NYGC’s operations.


Previously, Chris served as a leader of the consulting organization within Bioteam. In that role he interfaced with hundreds of organizations at all stages of adopting and leveraging technology for genomic science.


Chris’s academic background is in computer science, with a specialization in artificial intelligence.

Josh Simons

High Performance Computing,

Office of the CTO


With over 20 years of experience in High Performance and Technical Computing, Josh currently leads an effort at VMware to bring the value of virtualization to Research, Engineering, and Science environments.


Previously, he was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems with broad responsibilities for HPC direction and strategy. He joined Sun in 1996 from Thinking Machines Corporation, a pioneering company in the area of Massively Parallel Processors (MPPs), where he held a variety of technical positions.


Josh has worked on developer tools for distributed parallel computing, including language and compiler design, scalable parallel debugger design and development, and MPI. He has also worked in the areas of 3D graphics, image processing, and real-time device control. 


Josh has an undergraduate degree in Engineering from Harvard College and a Masters in Computer Science from Harvard University. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of OpenMP since 2002.


Patrick Combes
Principal Architect
Life Sciences/Research Computing

In his current role as Principal Architect at EMC ETD, Patrick is responsible for technical architecture, guidance, solution development and technical partner engagements using EMC technologies in the Life Sciences and in general within research computing.


Prior to EMC ETD, Patrick spent over 18 years in scientific computing as an engineer for such companies/institutions as Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (DOE), Cray Research, Rosetta/Merck and Microsoft. While at Microsoft Research, he was the Lead Applications Consultant for the Amalga Life Sciences product; responsible for gathering requirements and integration of the product with existing customer workflows and pipelines. At Rosetta/Merck he was responsible for development in support of integration and overall deployment of Rosetta’s entire software stack; which included products for genotyping, proteomics and gene expression technologies.


Patrick worked directly onsite with several customers of Rosetta including Merck, Sanofi,Novartis, Roche and many Universities and research institutions to integrate the products into their environment. Prior to joining Rosetta/Merck, he was a developer at Cray Research Inc. working on kernel integration and the foundational programming environment for the Red Storm/XT3/XT4 and Cascade projects.


Patrick has a B.S. in Computer/Electrical Engineering from the University of

Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with some graduate work focused on programming language design. He completed his co-operative education with Fermilab in the Particle Instrumentation Group programming embedded systems to gather and filter data for detecting sub-atomic particles.

Rajiv Yoganathan
Global Lead, R&D Lab Data
Storage Manager

Rajiv Yoganathan is the Pfizer Global Lab Data Storage Manager for all Pfizer Research & Development Sites.  He is responsible for the implementation and overall management of lab data storage strategies, communication, and processes for Pfizer R&D globally.


Previous to this position he was the Lab IT Computing Lead for the Pfizer Cambridge, MA site.  He was involved with coordinating support and project planning around the laboratory instrument computing space for the various Cambridge Research units.


Rajiv has over 15 years in the Information Technology space and over 10 years in supporting the IT/Life Sciences industry.  He attended UMass Boston for his Undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems and has a Masters in Information Technology Management. 

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