Data Science Roundtables

The South Big Data Hub Roundtable Series provides an open discussion forum focusing on emerging research challenges in data science and analytics, applications in verticals such as health, smart and connected cities, environment, natural hazards, energy, materials and advanced manufacturing, and cross cutting areas such as cyberinfrastructure, privacy, and security. 

The roundtables will feature a moderator and 1-4 panelists who will provide short presentations, followed by audience questions and roundtable discussion. To view previous roundtables, visit our YouTube channel or go here for an archival listing of roundtables.

Our next event in the series will be held on
Thursday, April 13 from noon – 1:15 P.M.

Data Science Challenges for Cancer Immunotherapy

To participate live via WebEx:
Join the day of the event

To attend in person:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)
100 Europa Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
5th floor in the Biltmore Room

Please RSVP to if you plan to attend in person.
Directions to RENCI

About the Roundtable:
The age of immuno-oncology is upon us: new cancer immunotherapies are providing fresh hope to patients who previously had few treatment options. Combining these technologies with the “Cancer Moon-shot,” the sky’s the limit.

However, immuno-oncology exists at the intersection of oncology, immunology and molecular biology, each of which alone bring significant data science challenges. What should be measured to understand both the highly heterogeneous tumor genetics and the patient-specific immune environment and response? How best to record, integrate, share and analyze those measurements? How can these data also fuel discovery by integrating with disparate health record ontologies and natural language clinical notes while monitoring for response and toxicity? And what incentives currently exist or can be created for enabling drug developer use of open data sharing standards and science commons, further encouraging additional insights and efficiencies from these integrated data? Finally, how can all these challenges be addressed while still honoring intellectual property, patient consent and privacy? These and other questions present significant opportunities for data science research and policy in the extraordinarily promising field of immuno-oncology.

About the Panelists:

joelparkerJoel Parker, PhD, is the Director of Bioinformatics at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center where he focuses on experimental design, statistics, and predictive modeling in support of biological research.





Benjamin Vincent, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Vincent was trained in cellular immunology and immunogenetics in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Frelinger, former Chairman of the UNC Department of Microbiology/Immunology and past President of the American Association of Immunologists. He completed a research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Serody, and he is currently a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Immunotherapy Group, Faculty Director of the Immunogenomics Facility, and Leader of the MP1U Pre-clinical Immunotherapy Program.


WeigmanVictor Weigman, PhD, is the director of Translational Genomics at Q2 Solutions, a Quintiles Quest Joint Venture. He leads the group with a goal of continued facilitation of pre-clinical drug development through biomarker identification. Ongoing research revolves around the genomic profiling of cancer using both DNA and RNA approaches including the development and deployment of robust assays that can be leveraged clinically as laboratory developed tests. Weigman brings more than 13 years of biomarker discovery research with genomics, with a majority of them dedicated to Expression Analysis (EA), a Q2 Solutions Company. He has published 14 papers on biomarker identification and assay development and has contributed to the development and launch of several genomic CLIA Assays.

About the Moderator:

Kimberly Robasky, PhD, is a Principal Investigator at the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), a research institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At RENCI, Robasky supports best practices for cyberinfrastructure and new business development, especially in the domains of biomedical and genomic initiatives. Robasky’s publication topics include analyses of whole genome and targeted sequencing data via phasing, haplotyping and variant interpretation. Robasky received her PhD in bioinformatics from Boston University on a research fellowship from George Church’s Lab in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School.