Prof. Harald Schmidt

Professor & Head of Department of Pharmacology & Personalised Medicine,  MeHNS, Faculty of Health, Medicine & Life Science, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands. 

Coordinator H2020 REPO-TRIAL and Horizon Europe REPO4EU

Prof. Paola Inverardi

Rector of Gran Sasso Science Institute, L’Aquila, Italy

Prof. Martin Krallinger

 Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Barcelona, Spain.

Head of NLP for Biomedical Information Analysis (NLP4BIA) Unit

“Rethinking signaling and disease to make an impact for medicine and patients”

Abstract: We do not understand the causality of almost any human disease and thus can only chronically alleviate symptoms, which is highly ineffective and imprecise. The biggest conceptual error in Medicine was to split up the human body organ by organ, including organ-specific research disciplines and to pretend one can define a disease within one organ. Systems Medicine overcomes this roadblock by re-integrating the human body in an evidence-based manner enabled by data science and bioinformatics. Systems medicine’s therapeutic arm, network pharmacology, revolutionizes how we define, diagnose, treat, and ideally cure diseases. Descriptive disease phenotypes are replaced by mechanistic endotypes defined by causal, multi-target signaling modules that also explain respective comorbidities. These modules are however distinct from classical pathways, which we now recognize to be not more than highly curated mind maps of signaling events. Such modules often contain several fragments of several different canonical pathways. Precise and effective therapeutic intervention is subsequently achieved by synergistic multi-compound network pharmacology, ideally through drug repurposing, obviating the need for drug discovery, and speeding up the clinical translation. Eventually, how we practice medicine and conduct biomedical research will radically change.

Bio: Harald is a physician scientist (MD/PhD) and pharmacist (PharmD) in systems medicine to re-define what we call “disease” from a descriptive symptom- and organ-based to a mechanism-based approach and rapid repurposing of registered drugs for new clinical applications by network pharmacology. He coordinates the H2020 project REPO-TRIAL on in-silico network pharmacology and the organ-agnostic European drug repurposing platform project REPO4EU. His multi-national research experience in Academia (Germany, USA, Australia, Netherlands), Industry (Abbott Labs) and Biotech (Vasopharm) have led to high impact publications (Hirsch index 101) with high socio-economic relevance such as drug and diagnostics patents, spin-offs and patient benefit. He is a speaker, podcaster and author (THE END OF MEDICINE AS WE KNOW IT).

“Remaining human in a digital society”

Abstract: Pervasiveness of digital technologies and the growing diffusion of systems with different degrees of autonomy puts at risks the centrality of human being in a world whose reference points appear to become not only of human nature. Risks for privacy, for human dignity intended as the right of humans to be respected by autonomous technologies, bias in recommended systems, the reducing space for individual decisions are all elements of worries and critical attention. Ethical concerns that were common in given domains, like health systems, are becoming of widespread interest. Can this same technology that is putting at risk our human nature, rescues us? The talk will try to answer to this question.

Bio: Paola Inverardi is Rector of Gran Sasso Science Institute since September 2022. Before she was professor of Computer Science at University of L’Aquila. She was Rector of University of L’Aquila from October 2013 to September 2019. Paola Inverardi’s research area is in the application of rigorous methods to software production in order to improve software quality. In the last decade her research interests concentrated in the field of software architectures, mobile applications and adaptive and autonomous systems. Inverardi served in the editorial boards of IEEE, ACM, Springer and Elsevier Journals. She has been general chair or program chair of leading conferences in software engineering (e.g. ASE, ICSE, ESEC/FSE) and chair of the ICSE and ESEC Steering Committees. She has been member of the ACM Europe Council and she is member of the ACM Tech Policy Council and vice-chair of ACM EUTPC. She is member of Academia Europaea, ACM Fellow and IFIP Fellow. She is the Italian representative in the European JU Eurohpc Governing Board. Paola Inverardi is member of the Scientific Council of the National Research Council (CNR) and of the scientific advisory board of IN3 – Internet Interdisciplinary Institute of UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). She has received a Honorary Doctorate at Mälardalen University Sweden and a Honorary doctorate at Shibaura University, Tokyo Japan, she has received the 2013 IEEE TCSE Distinguished Service Award

“Towards development and evaluation of multilingual NLP applications in biomedicine: biomaterials, rare diseases, cardiology, and occupational health”

Abstract: Recent advances in language technology developments, in particular the generation and use of large language models (LLMs) has attracted much attention and fostered also new trends and promises in biomedical and clinical NLP. The complexity, heterogeneous content types and variety of languages underlying biomedical unstructured data processing still poses a challenge for efficient exploitation of biomedical textual content. I will summarize some recent strategies and results related to biomedical literature mining as well as how it relates to clinical NLP approaches. To address the pressing needs to generate NLP tools beyond English, I will illustrate how resources for Spanish can be adapted for multilingual scenarios covering a range of languages including Italian, Swedish, Portuguese, Dutch, or even English itself. Shared tasks and access to high quality annotated datasets or corpora is becoming key to foster technological development, to monitor progress and to assess the quality of automatically generated results. Therefore, an overview of clinical NLP shared tasks and datasets will be provided. Finally, I will briefly introduce several application scenarios my group is currently working on, such as biomaterials research (BIOMATDB), clinical cardiology (DataTools4Heart & AI4HF), rare diseases/rheumatology (BARITONE) or occupational health (AI4ProfHealth).

Bio: Dr. Martin Krallinger, currently leader of the NLP for Biomedical Information Analysis (NLP4BIA) Unit at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and former head of the Biomedical Text Mining Unit at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO). The unit is highly multidisciplinary, including AI/NLP experts, computational linguists, software engineers or clinicians. Martin has been working in biomedical NLP over 15 years, publishing over 90 papers in topics ranging from applied biomedical NLP and text mining, semantic annotation and extraction of medical entities and relations, to medical machine translation, biomedical ontologies, or the implementation of annotation tools. He has worked on the implementation of text mining solutions for a variety of application scenarios, including toxicology, precision medicine, oncology, biomaterials, or stroke. Moreover, Martin was involved in the organization of several high impact evaluation and benchmarking efforts including BioCreative, eHealth CLEF, BioASQ, IberLEF or biomedical WMT.