About the India-EMBO Symposium
Big data analytics is transforming biology and medicine by allowing researchers to extract more information and knowledge from rapidly growing diverse types of data. This India-EMBO Symposium focuses on the translational interface of big data with biomedicine at various scales ranging from microbes to societies. The meeting, other than summarizing the potential of such applications and practical challenges therein, will specifically discuss the different requirements and the need for calibrating big data analytics to the larger purpose of the "actionable information." A computational model for prioritizing drug candidates that will undergo further pre-clinical and clinical testing, vastly differs in terms of error tolerance, from the use of large datasets to form public health policy evidence. Specifically, the "actionability" of any insight would be guided by pragmatic concerns and ethics, which vary between applications. Thus, the emphasis will be to form a well reasoned articulation of exploring different ways in which big data should be approached, integrating the context and the application. The challenges of India-specific applications, such as the need for local training data and research capacity to ensure geo-ethnical validity of machine learning health systems would be emphasized.