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Building tools to engineer the human body

Ron Alfa: Recursion

Innovation in human biology is evolving at breakneck speed. Artificial intelligence, data science and pharmaceutical discoveries – combined with a deeper understanding of how the body works at a cellular level – are creating exciting opportunities to extend health span.   Dr. Ron Alfa is Senior Vice President of Discovery & Product at Recursion, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, recently named by Fast Company as one the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019. In this LLAMA podcast interview, with Peter Bowes, Dr, Alfa explains Recursion’s mission to create a map of human cellular biology and find novel treatment for the diseases of aging.

Published on: 13 May 2019 @ 17:27


NOTES & QUOTES

 

Connect with Dr. Alfa: Bio | Recursion

This conversation was recorded at TEDMED

In this interview we cover:

  • How Recursion is using machine learning and computational biology to change the way drugs are getting to patients from the laboratory.
  • Building tools to better understand the safety and efficacy of new molecules for use in the clinic.
  • How drug discovery works and why it is such a long scientific process.
“When we think of aging, when we think of drug discovery, we are ultimately always focused on human disease and trying to understand how we can develop new treatments that reverse human diseases.”
  • How producing a vast amount of data is possible through advances algorithms and machine learning – and why it matters for our health.
  • Is data generated using robotics accurate?
  • How does this data differ from public data sets used widely in research?
“We can begin to ask: ‘Can we find potential drugs that perhaps can tackle, broadly, some of the diseases of aging that are causing a significant healthcare burden in society.'”
  • How Recursion is focussing on reversing cellular aging, or senescence.
  • Defining aging.
  • How import will artificial intelligence be as we move forward with the goal of a longer health span?
  • Focussing on solutions that actually reach patients and allow physicians to make better decisions.
“We are not going to replace doctors – what we are trying to do is … augment.”

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