Computational Health Informatics Program | Landmark Ideas Series

The Boston Children’s Hospital Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP) invites you to our Landmark Ideas Series Lecture!

Date: Monday, December 16, 2019

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (Reception to follow)

Where: Landmark Center at 401 Park Drive, 5th floor East, Boston, MA 02215

Speaker: Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH

Social Network Interventions”

Human beings choose their friends, and often their neighbors and co-workers, and they inherit their relatives; and each of the people to whom we are connected also does the same, such that, in the end, we humans assemble ourselves into face-to-face social networks. Why do we do this? How has natural selection shaped us in this regard? What role do our genes play in the topology of our social ties? And how might a deep understanding of human social network structure and function be used to intervene in the world to make it better?

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is a social scientist and physician at Yale University who conducts research in the fields of network science, biosocial science, and behavior genetics. His current work focuses on how human biology and health affect, and are affected by, social interactions and social networks. He directs the Human Nature Lab and is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science, appointed in the Departments of Sociology; Medicine; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Biomedical Engineering; and the School of Management.

Dr. Christakis received his BS from Yale in 1984, his MD from Harvard Medical School and his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1989, and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006; the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010; and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.

One body of work in his lab focuses on how health and health behavior in one person can influence analogous outcomes in a person’s social network. This work involves the application of statistical and mathematical models to understand the dynamics of diverse phenomena in longitudinally evolving networks. A related body of work uses experiments to examine the spread of altruism, emotions, and health behaviors along network connections online and offline, including with large-scale field trials in the developing world directed at improving public health (e.g., in Honduras and India). His lab has also examined the genetic and evolutionary determinants of social network structure, showing that social interactions have shaped our genome, with related projects that have mapped networks of populations in Tanzania and Sudan who live as all humans did 10,000 years ago. His most recent work has used artificial intelligence (AI) agents (“bots") to affect social processes online.

Dr. Christakis is the author of over 200 articles and several books. His influential book, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, documented how social networks affect our lives and was translated into twenty foreign languages. His most recent book, Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, was published in March 2019 and is slated to appear in German, Chinese, Dutch, and Greek, and other languages.

In 2009, Christakis was named by Time magazine to their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2009 and in 2010, he was listed by Foreign Policy magazine in their annual list of Top 100 Global Thinkers.

We hope to see you there!


Previous Lectures

Date: Monday, October 21, 2019

Time: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (Reception to follow)

Where: Landmark Center at 401 Park Drive, 5th floor East, Boston, MA 02215

Speaker: Maxine Mackintosh

“Big Tech and the National Health Service: Maintaining Equity in the AI Revolution”

A day does not go by without a new framework for ethics in AI, particularly in health and social care. But when your health system is based on need versus ability to pay, yet the skills, computational power and often data lies in tech companies, from SMEs to multinationals, it can be difficult to see how a health system can digitize in an equitable and ethical manner. Maxine’s talk will share some examples of the learnings, attitudes and practical ways the UK has approached data stewardship, partnerships, “intangible assets" and transparency of health data organizations looking to work with the NHS. These examples will include learnings from DeepMind Health’s Independent Review Board, the use of consumer data in the UK for health research, and how the UK is approaching some of these discussions at a national, policy level.

Maxine Mackintosh

Maxine MacintoshMaxine is an PhD student at the Alan Turing Institute and University College London’s Institute of Health Informatics. She is currently in Boston as a Winston Churchill Fellow. Her PhD involves using medical records to uncover early signs of dementia. She is interested in how we might make better use of routinely collected data to inform our understanding of health and diseases. Prior to this, she completed a BSc in Biomedical Sciences (UCL) and an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing (LSE & LSHTM).In addition, Maxine is the co-founder of One HealthTech – an international, volunteer-led, grassroots community which champions and supports underrepresented groups, particularly women, to be the future leaders in health innovation. Her professional work has led her to the Royal Society, Roche, L’Oreal, Department for International Development and NHS England. She is part of a number of communities and committees including the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, and the British Computer Society (Health Exec). Maxine also sat on DeepMind Health’s Independent Review Board and has a particular interest in fair and appropriate partnerships in the NHS.

 

 

We hope to see you there!

  • CHIP
  • Boston Children