Next Generation Pharma Discovery:
Collaboratively Analyzing 3D Imaging Data in the Cloud

Free Webinar Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:00pm EDT.

Click Here for Recording

Join us for an image analysis progress update. Complex collaborations are becoming the norm. A unique team of cross-functional and cross-company experts will shed light on a process that becomes more critical by the hour. 

Scroll down for full Abstract and Bios.

Mohamed Ayad
Senior Industry Specialist - Microsoft Health and Life Sciences

Michael D. Cockman, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Manager, Imaging Center
Early Development
Covance Inc.

David Weinstein.jpeg

David Weinstein, Ph.D.
President & COO

Zhiyong Xie, Ph.D.
Associate Director


Drug discovery is not a lone pursuit -- rather, it's a team effort, and nowadays those teams are often spread across buildings, campuses, and states.  And so it's a natural evolution that discovery moves to the Cloud.

Further, the tools of the trade are changing.  While the biological specimens are still very much analog, the technology for measuring those specimens and for quantifying endpoints is increasingly digital.  And with that digital data shift comes exponential growth in the size and complexity of the data.  High resolution microCT scans produce many megabytes or even gigabytes of data; large studies can run into the terabytes.

As we've created systems to support large-scale data management, interactive image analysis, and digital study collaboration, strategic design questions have emerged: how should we capture and manage interactive data exploration, what's the best model for asynchronous digital collaboration, and how do we keep the entire system tightly secure while still supporting mobility and sharing?

In this webinar, we will discuss the role of 3D imaging in the drug discovery process.  We'll highlight several therapeutic areas that are already benefiting from imaging, and we'll discuss the considerations and trade-offs that inform the design of such studies.  We'll introduce Numira's AltaNexus platform, a SaaS system for preclinical study management, with an emphasis on supporting imaging data and image analysis.  Finally, we'll discuss some of the necessary qualities of a Cloud platform for managing preclinical study data, including security and validation, and we'll describe how Microsoft has architected its Azure Cloud to meet those strict regulatory requirements.

Key Learning Objectives:

  • Numira's imaging and analysis and Azure-based study delivery platform (AltaNexus)

  • Imaging in drug discovery and development in one or two example therapeutic areas
  • Process and challenges of designing and performing large-scale preclinical imaging studies and the need for collaboration among geographically dispersed teams

  • Azure Cloud and how its scalability and its validated security model provide the computational power and peace of mind that big pharma researchers (and their IT departments) require


Dr. Mohamed Ayad is the cloud lead for Microsoft’s Health and Life Sciences team. In this role, he focuses on new cloud design wins driven by Microsoft partner solutions that help health and life sciences organizations with adoption of cloud technologies. Dr. Ayad also helps Microsoft customers and partners in understanding how Microsoft cloud technologies support compliance with industry regulations. Before joining Microsoft in 2011, Dr. Ayad was a Dean’s Scholar at Boston University’s Graduate School of Management, where he earned an MBA in Health Sector Management and an MS in Information Systems. During this time, Dr. Ayad was a clinical business analyst at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. Prior to that, Dr. Ayad was a practicing physician and healthcare management specialist for the Ministry of Health in Egypt.

Michael D. Cockman earned his Ph.D. in physical chemistry concentrating on the development of multidimensional NMR spectroscopy and imaging techniques.  He is interested in implementation and validation of image acquisition and analysis protocols to measure drug efficacy and safety in pre-clinical disease models.  Dr. Cockman is a Senior Scientist with Covance, Inc. and the manager of the Imaging Center in Greenfield, Indiana.

Dr. David Weinstein has over 20 years of experience in software development, image processing, and managing the development of software systems for medical imaging.  Prior to the acquisition by Numira, he was the President and Chief Technology Officer for Visual Influence, Inc., a company formed in 2001 to export image analysis technologies from the University of Utah’s Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute to the commercial market.  In his role as President & COO at Numira, Dr. Weinstein seeks out and fosters new product development opportunities, and oversees all operational aspects of the company.  Dr. Weinstein received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Utah and B.S. degrees in computer science and mathematics from U.C. Berkeley.

Zhiyong Xie holds a Ph.D. in computer science with a focus on image analysis and data visualization. He is particularly interested in extracting meaningful information from medical images such as DceMRI, fMRI, structural MRI, PET, CT, etc. Dr. Xie is an associate director of Pfizer Worldwide Clinical & Translational Imaging group. His major responsibilities include biomarker development and clinical trial management where imaging technologies are used to evaluate drug efficacy and/or to help understand the disease.