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Center for Data-Driven Drug Development and Treatment Assessment Has Awarded Its First Project Funding

Ivana Tullett, DATA Managing Director, April 27, 2023

The Center for Data-Driven Drug Development and Treatment Assessment (DATA), a unit of MIDAS and a national center sponsored by the NSF’s Industry-University Cooperative Research Center program, has awarded funding to its first cohort of research projects. The Center was established in August 2022 to conduct pre-competitive, industry-relevant research in drug design and repositioning and treatment monitoring. The funding decisions were made by DATA’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB) at its inaugural meeting on April 13 and 14 in Ann Arbor.

The IAB is composed of the Center’s industry members who provide funding for DATA’s research program. It meets twice per year, once in the spring when proposals are selected for funding, and once in the fall when faculty and industry partners come together to develop new project ideas and the IAB and the Center’s leadership discuss strategic planning for the Center’s direction. The next meeting is scheduled for mid-October in Chicago.

Twelve proposals employing data science and AI in the design and assessment of clinical treatment competed in this first funding cycle. The funded projects cover the entire span of pipeline development. They include Artificial Intelligence for Interpreting Signals Data from Bedside Portable Gas Chromatography in Ulcerative Colitis (Ryan Stidham and Xudong (Sherman) Fan), Developing Computational Phenotypes of Patient Reported Outcomes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease for Improved Assessment of Symptomatic Therapeutic Effects and Prediction of Medication Response (Ryan Stidham and Cristian Minoccheri), Machine-Learning Based Optimization to Identify New Treatments for Tuberculosis (Denise Kirschner and Maral Budak Marple), and Utilizing Fully Homomorphic Encryption for Privacy Preserving Machine Learning in Drug Development (Kayvan Najarian and Emily Wittrup).

The engaging and interactive nature of the meeting provided ample opportunities for networking of faculty, students and postdocs with DATA’s industry partners and guest companies and showcased, in a poster session, the breadth of young talent emerging at the University of Michigan in the field of data science and AI. The connections made and conversations begun during these two days will carry well beyond the meeting and will lead to more collaborations, research projects, and career opportunities.

DATA’s team would like to express our gratitude to the National Science Foundation as well as the many University partners for their continued support to the Center and partnership that make our work possible and meaningful, in particular to U-M Vice President Emerita for Research, Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, MIDAS Director H. V. Jagadish and Executive Director Jing Liu, U-M Innovation Partnerships, and the numerous faculty who have been engaged with DATA on achieving our research vision and objectives. If you would like to get involved, please contact the Center’s director Kayvan Najarian (kayvan@med.umich.edu) or managing director Ivana Tullett (itullett@med.umich.edu, 734-647-4986).

This publication was supported by the National Science Foundation under the award number 2209546. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Michigan Center for Data-Driven Drug Development and Treatment Assessment