September 4th, 2014

Shared Global Cyberinfrastructure for Biomedical Research

Anil Srivastava

Founder and President Open Health Systems Laboratory


Cancer, and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were till recently regarded as the maladies of the West, so much so that organizations like Gates Foundation and The World Bank, paid little or no attention, but instead confined their effort to infectious diseases like malaria, tuberclosis and AIDS. Slowly and surely we are realizing that chronic diseases can break the bank for individuals and families and the burden can run national health systems into the ground.

On another level it is becoming obvious that global cooperation is needed to find a cure for chronic diseases which has to spread across different domains of medical knowledge and disciplines. No longer is it possible to keep genomic information apart from biospecimen or imaging data. On the other hand, biomedical research is increasingly about connected scientists, working together leveraging ‘big data to knowledge’ and cyber-physical systems. His work at OHSL has focused on team science and virtual organizations as a socio-technical system with a belief that communication and collaboration technologies provide the platform for the future.

Internet of Everything and systems biology is the fast emerging future. In this we need tools for discovery (of people, places and things); ability to connect them into vibrant networks (cyberinfrastructure) for friction-less science and science gateways that will allow scientists a cyber laboratory where they can quickly and easily assemble their instruments, data and patients into an ecosystem.

Open Health Systems Laboratory working with its partners in the ICTBioMed: International Consortium for Technology in Biomedicine and biomedical researchers across the world is working on creating an open and shared global cyberinfrastructure for biomedical research led by the needs of life sciences and public health. Center for Research Computing at the University of Notre Dame is an important member of the ICTBioMed consortium.

About Anil Srivastava

Anil Srivastava (OHSL) and Michael Sullivan (Internet2) will describe their global efforts and answer questions from the audience.Most of Anil Srivastava’s work has been at the nexus of information and communication technologies (ICT) and their utilization for furthering societal and scientific purposes. He started his career as head of Knowledge Engineering and director of Centre for Development of Instructional Technology (CENDIT) where he participated in Ariane Passenger PayLoad Experiment (APPLE) experimental communication satellite for date networking in India; later worked with Apple’s Advanced Technology Group on Educational Object Economy research funded by NSF which has resulted in MOOCs; and served as the founding chief executive of India’s NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies) which has resulted in a $49 million industry growing several folds to $49 billion in a decade and growing. He has worked as senior advisor to the leadership team at The World Bank; several specialized United Nations agencies including Unesco, Unicef, FAO and WHO; and Booz•Allen & Hamilton; and visiting faculty at California State University and Tata Memorial Centre beside teaching at Stanford University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and other institutes of higher learning and research.