2019 U-M Precision Health Symposium


Gonçalo Abecasis | Consuelo Wilkins | Mike Dorsche | Mariel Lavieri | Srijan Sen


Gonçalo Abecasis, DPhil
Vice President, Analytical Genomics & Data Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Gonçalo Abecasis, DPhil, is Felix E. Moore Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Vice President of Analytical Genomics & Data Sciences at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. He is a leader of genetic analysis of complex human traits. His team has developed statistical methods, computational algorithms, and software that facilitate quick, accurate analysis of genetic studies of human disease. His studies enable a better understanding of human genetic variation and its role in disease biology. Abecasis has made important contributions to understanding conditions as diverse as heart disease, diabetes, psoriasis, and macular degeneration. Ongoing projects include the sequencing and analysis of  more than 50,000 deep human genomes–an unprecedented amount of data. Abecasis has led the University’s Biostatistics department, which continues to train a new generation of scientists and make contributions to the statistical and computational machinery for the analysis of diverse types of biomedical data, including not only genomic data, but also electronic health records, registry data and health surveys, a variety of imaging data types, and environmental exposures, among others.

Presentation: Sequencing /Analysis of 10,000s of Human Genomes

The rapid advances in genome sequencing and genotyping technology are enabling increasingly detailed analysis of human genetic variation. In the next year, we expect to analyze more than 50,000 deeply sequenced human genomes, corresponding to approximately 5 million billion bases of raw sequence data. The generation, transfer, and analysis of the data present many opportunities for scientific discover, enabling better understanding of human history, biology, and disease. It also presents varied computational and analytical challenges as well as opportunities to develop and implement new analytical strategies and modes of data sharing. I will illustrate these challenges and opportunities with examples from ongoing studies.  


Consuelo Hopkins Wilkins, MD, MSCI
Vice President for Health Equity, Assoc. Dean for Health Equity, and Assoc. Prof. of Medicine, Vanderbilt University

Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI, is the Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance and Associate Professor of Medicine at both Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Meharry Medical College. As Director of the Engagement Core of the All of Us Research Program (a component of the Precision Medicine Initiative), Wilkins oversees initiatives that meaningfully engage research participants in the governance, oversight, implementation, and dissemination of the program. She has pioneered methods of stakeholder engagement that involve community members and patients in all stages of biomedical and health research. Wilkins is currently a Principal Investigator of two NIH-funded centers: the Vanderbilt-Miami-Meharry Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Population Health, which focuses on decreasing disparities among African Americans and Latinos using precision medicine, and the Vanderbilt Recruitment Innovation Center, a national center dedicated to enhancing recruitment and retention in clinical trials. translational research.

Prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2012, Wilkins was an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, with secondary appointments in Psychiatry and Surgery (Public Health Sciences) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. She served as the founding Director of the Center for Community Health and Partnerships in the Institute for Public Health, the Co-Director of the Center for Community-Engaged Research in the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, and the Director of “Our Community, Our Health,” a collaborative program with St. Louis University to disseminate culturally relevant health information and facilitate community–academic partnerships to address health disparities.

Wilkins earned a Bachelor of Science in microbiology (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Doctor of Medicine from Howard University.  She completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, and Geriatric Medicine fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Following her medical training, she earned a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation from Washington University School of Medicine.

Presentation: Equity, Engagement and the Promise of Precision Medicine


Michael Dorsch, MS, PharmD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Michigan

Michael Dorsch, MS, PharmD, is a pharmacist and clinical researcher who studies patient- and provider-centered clinical decision support using health information technology in cardiovascular disease. Two currently funded grants, in which he is the PI, have developed patient-centered clinical decision support tools. One is a mobile application that uses location aware services on the phone to provide just-in-time contextual interventions to reduce sodium intake when hypertensive patients shop at grocery stores and eat at restaurants. Another is a mobile application to support self-monitoring and self-management in heart failure.

Presentation: How patient-centered clinical decision support and health information technology can be used to advance precision health



Mariel Lavieri, MS, PhD
Associate Professor, Industrial & Operations Engineering, University of Michigan

Mariel Lavieri, MS, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on medical decision making, in particular on determining optimal screening, monitoring, and treatment by explicitly modeling the stochastic disease progression. She has also developed models for health workforce planning, which take into account training requirements, workforce attrition, capacity planning, promotion rules, and learning. Among others, Lavieri is the recipient of the Willie Hobbs Moore Aspire, Advance, Achieve Mentoring Award, the MLK Faculty Spirit Award, the MICHR Distinguished Clinical and Translational Research Mentor Award, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the International Conference on Operations Research Young Participant with Most Practical Impact Award, the Pierskalla Best Paper Award, and the Bonder Scholarship. Lavieri has guided work that won the Medical Decision Making Lee Lusted Award (twice), the INFORMS Doing Good with Good OR Award, and the Production and Operations Management Society Best Paper Award.

Presentation: Using Operations Research to Personalize the Management of Patients with Chronic Conditions

Chronic disease management often involves sequential decisions that have long-term implications. Those decisions are based on high-dimensional information, which poses a problem for traditional modeling paradigms. In some key instances, the disease dynamics might not be known, but instead are learned as new information becomes available. In this talk, Lavieri describes some of her ongoing research modeling medical decisions faced by patients with chronic conditions. Model conception and validation will be described, as well as the role of multidisciplinary collaborations in ensuring practical impact of her work.


Srijan Sen

Srijan Sen, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Associate Chair for Research and Research Faculty Development, Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences, University of Michigan

Srijan Sen is the Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences and Associate Chair for Research and Faculty Development in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. He received his MD and PhD from the University of Michigan, completed a psychiatry residency at Yale University, and returned to Michigan as faculty in 2009. The Sen Lab’s Intern Health Study is a longitudinal cohort study that assesses stress and mood in medical interns, enrolling over 3,000 participants from 80+ institutions each year. In addition to understanding physician depression, Sen utilizes physician training as a model to better understand how stress leads to depression, in general. Work from the study has been published in JAMA, Molecular Psychiatry, JAMA Internal Medicine, Biological Psychiatry, and JAMA Psychiatry, and covered in the New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine and other media outlets. These papers have been cited over 120 times, on average, with two of the papers ranking among the Altmetrics top 100 articles of the year. The work has advanced our understanding of biology of depression under stress and influenced medical education policies put forward by healthcare institutions and the ACGME. Sen has received many awards, including the Seymour Lustman Award, the American Psychological Association/Lilly Resident Research Award, the NIMH BRAINS Award, and the U-M Endowment for the Basic Sciences.

Presentation: Prediction and Prevention of Depression through Mobile Technology

Progress in mental health research has been limited by the retrospective and subjective nature of the data available. Mobile technology holds the potential to provide real-time objective information about our behavior and mental health. Utilizing physician training as a prospective stress model, Sen will describe work identifying smartphone and wearable predictors of depression risk and the potential of smartphones to deliver interventions for depression.