Prof. Natasa Przulj, awarded an ERC Proof of Concept grant to commercialize a data analytics platform enabling data-driven biomedical innovation and precision medicine

27 April 2020

The researcher receives this prestigious award to explore the commercial potential of the ERC project, ICON-BIO, obtained in 2018 as an ERC Consolidator Grant.

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced today the ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) recipients, among whom is the Barcelona Supercomputing Center’s (BSC) researcher, Prof. Natasa Przulj. This PoC project aims to pave the road to commercialize a comprehensive data analytics platform enabling data-driven biomedical innovation and precision medicine.

The platform is specifically designed to efficiently fuse and mine heterogeneous omic data, including genomes, epigenomes, proteomes, metabolomes, patient clinical profiles, drugs and their chemical similarities, disease and other ontologies, and other relevant omic data.

The goal of this development is to provide the most advanced software platform for
fusion and analytics of numerous heterogeneous multi-scale omic data that takes advantage of novel non-negative matrix trifactorization (NMTF)- based and network mining algorithms, providing dramatic improvements in the number and type of fused data, quantity of data, computational efficiency and biomedical accuracy compared to the most advanced omic data
analytics platforms currently existing.

The main goal of the PoC is to close the gap between the research results of Prof. Przulj’s ERC Consolidator Grant, ICON-BIO, and the production of a commercial data analytics platform for the bio-pharmaceutical sector. In particular, the solution will target biopharma companies to embed the platform into their existing data science resources and enable effective and efficient application of the platform’s explainable AI methods (resulting from ICON-BIO) to optimize and guide their discovery processes.

About Prof. Natasa Przulj

Dr. Natasa Przulj is an ICREA Research Professor and the Group Leader of the Integrative Computational Network Biology team at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). She is a leader in biological network analysis and AI methods for data integration. She initiated extraction of biomedical knowledge from the wiring patterns of real-world molecular (omics) networks.

She received two ERC awards: an ERC Starting Independent Researcher Grant between 2012 and 2017 and an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2018. In addition, in 2019 she was elected into the Serbian Royal Academy of Scientists and Artists, in 2017 into Academia Europaea, The Academy of Europe, and in 2013 as a Fellow of the British Computer Society.