Using AI to create novel therapies for complex diseases

Joint Seminar
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Department of Computer Science & Engineering
Human Language Technology Center

Speaker:        Dr. Katharina Sophia Volz
                Founder & CEO, OccamzRazor

Title:          "Using AI to create novel therapies for complex diseases"

Date:           Monday, 19 March 2018

Time:           4:00pm - 5:00pm

Venue:          Lecture Theater F (near lifts 25 & 26), HKUST


Katharina Sophia Volz is an entrepreneur and holds a PhD in stem cell
biology and regenerative medicine from Stanford. In 2016 she founded
OccamzRazor, a San Francisco-based AI-neuroscience startup that is focused
on finding disease modifying treatments for Parkinson's Disease (PD) and
other complex diseases. To cure a complex and multifactorial disease like
PD, we need to go beyond targeting just a single gene or a single disease
mechanism. OccamzRazor consumes and analyzes unstructured and structured
biomedical datasets (e.g., published literature, preclinical and clinical
trial results), and constructs an exhaustive knowledge graph representing
all known information about PD. This graph is used to drive downstream
therapeutic insight, augment decision making in biomedical research, and
generate strategic therapeutics development. With Artificial Intelligence
on the raise, traditional industries like pharma are experiencing major
changes and new possibilities. In her talk, Dr. Volz is going to introduce
the audience to key concepts of the AI-technology developed by her team
and  explain how these accelerate therapeutics development for complex


Katharina Sophia Volz pioneered Stanford University's first Ph.D. in Stem
Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine in 2015, earning her degree in just
2.5 years. She was listed on Forbes 30u30 (Science) and has been immersed
in the field of biomedical sciences for the past 12 years, starting with
her attendance at Germany's Biotechnology High school. She has been
awarded multiple fellowships and awards to do research in 10 labs around
the world including Harvard, UCLA, HHMI, Ohio State, TU Graz and Stanford.
During her Ph.D. she had a breakthrough discovering the epicardial-derived
cell type that forms the coronary arteries and the signal required for
this differentiation event. Dr. Volz is now on a mission to find curative
therapeutics for Parkinson's Disease and founded OccamzRazor, an AI-driven
neuroscience company that uses deep learning to extract information from
biomedical publications and various other data sources to accelerate
therapeutics discovery for complex diseases.