Please circulate this announcement in your lab

May 24th 2019, 14h30-16h00
Bordeaux Pellegrin Hospital, Rheumatology Service, 12th floor

Sabina Leonelli (University of Exeter, UK)

"Actionable Data for Precision Oncology: Building Trustworthy Evidence for 
Exploratory Research and Clinical Diagnostics"

A PhilInBioMed seminar

Open to all
Actionable Data for Precision Oncology: Building Trustworth Evidence for 
Exploratory Research and Clinical Diagnostics

Difficulties in managing the enormous amount of relevant data being produced by 
researchers around the world continue to undermine data-centred discovery and 
therapeutic development. This is particularly evident when looking for evidence 
to identify which entities should be targeted, and how – an issue typically 
referred to as 'actionability' of data by practitioners (Nelson et al., 2013). 
This paper, co-authored with Niccoló Tempini from the University of Exeter, 
considers how researchers make decisions about the actionability of specific 
datasets and the extent to which such data can be considered to be trustworthy. 
To this aim, we discuss the case of COSMIC, a leading data infrastructure in 
cancer genomics which aggregates a large amount of data sources, ranging from 
literature to screen repositories and functional information about cancer at 
various levels of description (including gene, individual mutation, methylation 
and drug resistance). COSMIC occupies a central 
 position in the path towards precision oncology. It is used by many research 
groups both for exploratory analyses and in drug or diagnostic development 
pipelines, and it has a strong reputation as a reliable source of genomic 
evidence for clinical use. On the basis of qualitative research on COSMIC data 
curation and use practices carried out between 2015 and 2017, we identify 
significant differences in the understanding of data actionability underpinning 
exploratory research on biological mechanisms as opposed to research aiming to 
develop diagnostic knowledge and related instruments/markers. Though sometimes 
inhabited by the same individuals, the exploratory and the diagnostic research 
spaces pose different requirements and constraints upon data use, which in turn 
shape different imaginaries of actionability and perceptions of what makes a 
data source trustworthy.  We show how different ways to construe data use in 
medical research are integral to considerations of evident
 ial reliability, and offer a definition of actionability and trust in data 
that is dependent on the medical goals at hand in any one situation of inquiry. 
For more information click here.

Sabina Leonelli is a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute in London and 
the Co-Director of the Exeter Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences 
(Egenis), where she leads the Data Studies research strand. Furthermore, she is 
Editor-in-Chief of the international journal History and Philosophy of the Life 
Sciences, together with Professor Giovanni Boniolo, and Associate Editor for 
the Harvard Data Science Review. In 2018 she was awarded the Lakatos Award for 
her book Data-Centric Biology: A Philosophical Study (University of Chicago 
Press, 2016).

Best regards,

Wiebke Bretting

Dr. Wiebke Bretting
Project Manager ERC IDEM
ImmunoConcEpT, UMR5164
Université de Bordeaux
146 rue Léo Saignat
33076 Bordeaux

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