—Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy, high performance human life span, announced they have hired Franz Och, Ph.D., an expert in machine learning and machine translation as the company’s Chief Data Scientist. Och comes to HLI from Google where he was Distinguished Research Scientist and the Head of Google Translate.
He will develop new computational tools and algorithms to translate the bio data into actionable insights—like developing personalized medicine, early diagnosis, cures for killers like cancer and heart disease, and eventually stem cell therapies.
Venter’s team will sequence tens of thousands of genomes every year.
The firm will also sequence the genomes of the trillions of microbes that live on and inside the body—bacteria, viruses, and fungi—and integrate that into the data. The hope is that the resulting torrent of genetic information could hold the key to preventing disease and slowing aging—if someone can figure out how to decipher the massive database. Or more accurately, teach a machine to do it.
“One of the biggest challenges in medicine and science today and thus, one of HLI’s biggest challenges, is how to interpret the vast amount of biological data we are generating from sequencing individual genomes,” said Venter. “To make these data interpretable and clinically actionable will require new computational tools. Franz brings not only unquestionable talent in this area, but also a fresh perspective and a creative mind to tackle what has never before been attempted. We are pleased to have Franz join us in our quest to revolutionize healthcare,” he concluded.
HLI is building the world’s most comprehensive human genotype and phenotype database to tackle the diseases associated with aging-related human biological decline. Building on Och’s expertise in language translation, and using his skills in machine learning, he will be responsible for developing new computational methods to translate the human biological information in the forms of the whole human genome, microbiome, and protein sequencing data into the language of human health and disease using human phenotype data.
Och is currently recruiting and building a team of research scientists and software engineers who will be located in Mountain View, California.
“We’re going to need the best and brightest from the areas of computer science, machine learning and big data generation and interpretation as well as those from biology, genomics and bioinformatics to reach a new level of understanding of this massive database” said Och. “I look forward to working with Craig and the team at HLI to enhance our understanding of human biology, to better manage the healthy aging process and thus increase the healthy human lifespan,” he said.