Brendan Frey

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How Deep Learning is Transforming Drug Discovery

By driving cars, beating humans at their own games, transcribing speech and translating text, deep learning is changing the world. However, over the past five years, exponential growth in biomedical datasets has created the perfect opportunity for deep learning to disrupt drug discovery. Already, deep learning systems can identify disease mutations more reliably than human experts, and can predict which compounds will modulate the activity of therapeutic targets. I'll describe different approaches to drug discovery and explain how Deep Genomics is using its machine learning platform to identify therapies for metabolic, neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders, and to advance them into clinical trials as fast as possible. I'll also describe our approach to overcoming the so-called 'black box' challenge of establishing trust with stakeholders, regulators, clinicians and patients.

Brendan Frey is internationally recognized as a leader in machine learning and genome biology. His group has published over a dozen papers in Science, Nature and Cell, and their most recent work on using deep learning to identify protein-DNA interactions was highlighted on the front cover Nature Biotechnology. Frey is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has consulted for several industrial research and development laboratories in Canada, the United States and England, and has served on the Technical Advisory Board of Microsoft Research. Most recently, Dr. Frey spun out a company called Deep Genomics.

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