Gene.png Date: April 10, 2017
 Time: 12:00pm
 Location: Light Hall, Room 202

Title: Security in Personal Genomics: Lest We Forget
Speaker: Gene Tsudik, Ph.D (University of California at Irvine)


Abstract: Genomic privacy has attracted much attention from the research community, mainly since its risks are unique and breaches can lead to terrifying leakage of most personal and sensitive information. The much less explored topic of genomic security needs to mitigate threats of the digitized genome being altered by its owner or an outside party, which can have dire consequences, especially, in medical or legal settings. At the same time, many anticipated genomic applications (with varying degrees of trust) require only small amounts of genomic data. Supporting such applications requires a careful balance between security and privacy. Furthermore, genome’s size raises performance concerns.

We argue that genomic security must be taken seriously and explored as a research topic in its own right. To this end, we discuss the problem space, identify the stakeholders, discuss assumptions about them, and outline several simple approaches based on common cryptographic techniques, including signature variants and authenticated data structures. We also present some extensions and identify opportunities for future research. The main goal of this paper is to highlight the importance of genomic security as a research topic in its own right. 


Bio: Gene Tsudik is a Chancellor's Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He obtained his PhD in Computer Science from USC in 1991. Before coming to UCI in 2000, he was at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory (1991-1996) and USC/ISI (1996-2000). Over the years, his research interests included numerous topics in security, privacy and applied cryptography. Gene Tsudik is a Fulbright Scholar, a Fulbright Specialist, a fellow of ACM, IEEE and AAAS, as well as a member of Academia European. From 2009 to 2015 he was the Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Information and Systems Security (TISSEC).



martin.jpg Date: March 3, 2016
 Time: 12:00pm
 Location: 2525 West End Avenue, 6th Floor Board Room

 Title: When is Enough, Enough? Quantifying Anonymization of Clinical Reports in the Clinical Trials Transparency Space
 Speakers: Martin Scaiano, Ph.D (Privacy Analytics, Inc.), Hazel Nicholls (Privacy Analytics, Inc.)


Abstract: How do we protect patient privacy while enabling research, advancements, and transparency in medical science? How can we quantify and justify de-identification of textual documents and establish a defensible level of anonymization?  In this seminar, we introduce an information theory-based approach, which is effective on sparse and heterogeneous data such as is found in clinical reports associated with clinical trials. We will describe how we process clinical reports, measure and mitigate the risk of re-identification on these reports.


Bios: Martin Scaiano is a Senior Manager of Data Analytics at Privacy Analytics Inc, where he specializes in natural language processing and developing algorithms for measuring the risk of re-identification. Dr. Scaiano combines his research experience with over ten years of experience in software development, contributing to 5 patents. He received a doctorate in computer science from the University of Ottawa.

Hazel Nicholls leads the Clinical Trials Transparency team at Privacy Analytics Inc. She works on the design and implementation of data anonymization solutions, methodology, governance consulting, and training. She holds a bachelor's of mathematics from Carleton University and a bachelor's of education from the University of Ottawa.



Emmanuel_Didier_0.jpg Date: February 23, 2016
 Time: 4:00pm
 Location: Light Hall, Room 214

​ Title: What Happens to the Genome in Big Genomics Data?
 Speaker: Emanuel Didier, Ph.D (French National Center for Scientific Research - CNRS)


Abstract: “Personalized medicine” has many meanings, often conflicting.  In this talk, I will focus on the Undiagnosed Disease Network, an NIH-funded, very large genomics project, on which I am doing a multi- sited ethnography.  In this seminar, I analyze how and what data they produce, and how the way they use it redefines personalized  medicine.


Bio: Emmanuel Didier is a founding member and permanent researcher at Epidopo, a joint research unit funded by the French CNRS and UCLA and located in the latter. A sociologist, he specializes in the study of statistics as a tool of government. His 
first book bore on the relationship between the invention of random sampling in the US and the political innovations of the New Deal such as State interventionism and State planning. His second book written with Isabelle Bruno is entitled Benchmarking. They studied the latest transformations of management by numbers in the French public administration, especially the police, hospital and education. His third book, entitled “Statactivisme”, is an edited volume, dedicated to gather and analyze ways in which, since the 1970s, ordinary people resist or pervert quantitative management tools, or use statistics to enhance their power against institutions.

He is now working on a project on big data in the domain of health and especially in genomics. After the Human Genome Project, he argues that genomics is now experiencing a deep transformation initiated by the availability of some huge storage and calculation facilities. His goal is to understand how this new kind of quantification will, at the same time, change the policies governing healthcare, alter the way individuals conceive themselves as subjected to disease, and redefine the way diagnoses are established.