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Saravanan Kanakasabai MD, PhD: Modern Clinical Research: Extracting Insights from Patient Data

Friday, December 2 at 12:30 p.m. in IT 252


IU Health’s mission is to improve the health of our patients and community through innovation and excellence in care, education, research and service. Today, all of these aspects of patient care rely heavily on data and the insights it can drive, which means that more than ever we rely on the people who can deliver these insights. Patient and operational data is collected at virtually every step of the patient experience. But it can be noisy, irregular, and in formats which do not easily lend themselves for computation. Endless wealth of answers in the data can help us find patients who may need new treatment, but currently fall off the radar of traditional patient searches, help us find trends and correlations worthy of new clinical research, and help us sport early trends and indicators of important medical and operational changes. In the leading healthcare organizations across the globe, new machine learning algorithms are reducing trial costs, reaching more qualified patient audiences faster, eliminating undue patient and provider burden, and allowing to save invaluable time, which kills off dead-end research faster and gets effective life-saving solutions to the people who need them faster.

Clinical Research Systems (CRS) department at IUH is a 2-year-young group, dedicated to the very purpose of putting in place systems, procedures and people, which will enable our Clinical Researchers to get better outcomes faster, and will connect more of our patients with trial sponsors who have the new medicine trials these patients need. We are looking for students who want to put their theoretical savvy to great practical use and who will take a project from several available to create a solution which will benefit the real world right away. No dust-collecting theoretical guesswork here. Your results will benefit real doctors and real patients. Among the projects available, we seek to explore anomaly and pattern detection to find research-worthy nuances in specific patient cohorts, explore computer vision algorithms to find patient information on image documents, and explore similarity and clustering algorithms to improve patient searches and to expand exact patient cohorts with similar patients who do not match the search criteria. The work will span multiple departments in UIH organization and multiple datasets of varying quality, including both structured and unstructured data from existing data sources and any new sources we can locate or acquire which may benefit the proposed solutions.

If you want your work to mean something, improve lives and quality of Indiana healthcare, and go to good use in the real world, consider doing your student project with CRS department at IU Health.

About Saravanan Kanakasabai MD, PhD

18 years in Medicine and Medical research. Have an MD degree from India and was n ER Physician for 2 years in Chennai, India. Migrated to the US to pursue a career in Medical research and acquired a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Drexel University, Philadelphia. Designed and developed a graft that would aid in spinal cord regeneration as part of my PhD. Moved to Indianapolis to expand research knowledge in the field of neuroscience at the Methodist research Institute in 2007. Studied the immune mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis and identified new therapeutic targets and drugs for its treatment. Also studied the genetic characteristics of brain tumors and brain tumor stem cells and identified new genetic markers that can be targeted to make tumor cells and tumor stem cells more susceptible to chemotherapy. Several publications in peer reviewed scientific journals in these areas of research.