Keynotes & Speakers 2020

Keynote Address & Special Guests

Dr. Leo Anthony Celi (MD, MSc, MPH)

Leo Anthony Celi MD is clinical research director and principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory for Computational Physiology (LCP), and an attending physician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). He has practiced medicine in three continents (including New Zealand), giving him broad perspectives in healthcare delivery. As he brings together clinicians and data scientists to support research using data routinely collected in the process of care. His group built and maintains the public-access Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care (MIMIC) database, which holds clinical data from over 60,000 stays in BIDMC intensive care units (ICU). It is an unparalleled research resource; close to 10,000 investigators from more than 70 countries have free access to the clinical data under a data use agreement. In 2016, LCP partnered with Philips eICU Research Institute to host the eICU database with more than 2 million ICU patients admitted across the United States.

Leo also founded and co-directs Sana, a cross-disciplinary organization based at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at MIT, whose objective is to leverage information technology to improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. He is one of the course directors for HST.936 – global health informatics to improve quality of care, and HST.953 – collaborative data science in medicine, both at MIT. He is an editor of thetextbook for each course, both released under an open access license. The textbook “Secondary Analysis of Electronic Health Records” came out in October 2016 and was downloaded more the 100,000 times in the first year of publication. The massive open online course HST.936x “Global Health Informatics to Improve Quality of Care” was launched under edX in February 2017. Finally, Leo has spoken in 25 countries about the value of data in improving health outcomes.

Mr. Saxon Connor FRACS (Gastrointesintal/Hepatopancreatobiliary);  E-clinical Health Lead (CDHB)

Saxon has been an HPB Surgeon at Christchurch hospital, New Zealand since 2005. After completing his RACS training in NZ he spent 4 years in United Kingdom completing HPB training (Liverpool and Edinburgh). His research interests have focused on clinical issues including safe cholecystectomy, bile duct injury, minimally invasive pancreatic necrosectomy, enhanced recovery surgery and post pancreatectomy pancreatitis. He has taken a role as the e-clinical health lead for the Canterbury district health board with the aim of helping to establish a digital health system. He has been involved with tech companies bringing electronic workflow solutions for clinicians from concept to production. Since 2008 he has been an Editor of HPB and sits on editorial boards of the World Journal of Surgery and British Journal of Surgery. He is on the ANZHPBA board and the research committee of the IHPBA. He is an e-tutor for HPB module of the University of Edinburgh online ChM programme. He has published 125 articles including, book chapters and videos

Dr. Minnan Xu (BS, MS, PhD)

Minnan Xu, PhD is the Research Department Head of Acute Care Solutions at Philips Research North America.  She leads a team of 40+ scientists and engineers working on creating predictive analytics and decision support tools for acute and critical care settings.  Minnan earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and completed her BS and MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. 


Kirikowhai Mikaere (Tuhourangi, Ngāti Whakaue)

Kirikowhai is a leading Māori data and information specialist focused on harnessing information to empower iwi, hapū, whānau and community development. She is a consultant with over 17 years’ experience advising Ministers, government agencies, tribal, community and private sector organisations with practical statistical analysis and innovative indigenous place-based data solutions.

With a bi-cultural education and upbringing, intensive technical training, and hands-on experience with diverse communities, Kirikowhai brings a unique  perspective to development opportunities. She is also the lead technical advisor to the Iwi (Tribal) Chairs Forum — Data Leadership Group, a member of New Zealand’s Data Ethics Advisory Group, a member of the Kāhui Māori Group for the National Science Challenge: Science for Technological Innovation and deputy chair of the Māori hauora (health and social service) provider Manaaki Ora Trust.

Caleb Moses 

Caleb is a Māori data scientist from Hokianga whose interests are data ethics, machine learning, language and automation. He is currently working on speech and language technologies to support the digital revitalisation of Te Reo Māori at Dragonfly Data Science. Before joining Dragonfly in 2018 he worked at Stats NZ as a subject matter expert in preserving confidentiality of administrative data.


Dr. Matthieu Komorowski (MRes, MD) 

An experienced anaesthetist and intensivist with 10 years in training and practice, Matthieu Komorowski hold full specialist board certification in both France and the UK. A former medical research fellow at the European Space Agency, he completed a Master in Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London. He currently pursues a PhD at Imperial College and a research fellowship in intensive care at Charing Cross Hospital in London. A visiting scholar at the Laboratory of Computational Physiology at Harvard/MIT, he belongs to the MIT Critical Data group (Professor Leo Celi) where he apply machine learning to large critical care databases, with the objective of developing decision support systems for sepsis, the number one killer in intensive care.

Dr. Tom Pollard (PhD) 

Tom Pollard PhD is a Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Laboratory for Computational Physiology. Most recently he has been working with colleagues to release the [eICU Collaborative Research Database] (, a freely-accessible database comprising patient data collected from critical care units across the US. Prior to joining MIT in 2015, Tom completed his PhD at University College London, UK, where he explored models of health in critical care patients. He has a broad interest in how we can improve the way that health data is collected and reused for the benefit of patients, and he is a Fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute in the UK

Dr. Joy Wu (MBChB, MPH)

Joy, MBChB MPH, is an Otago medical grad who completed two years of clinical training in her hometown of Christchurch. Her search for better ways of using data to improve clinical workflow and patient care saw her pursuing a Master of Public Health from Harvard University. Now she is a mother of two and is working as a Clinical Informatics Research Scientist at the IBM Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley.  Her research spans clinical natural language processing, computer vision with deep learning, and multimodal clinical reasoning/decision making. Her dream is one day to be able to help patients find the best solution for their particular problems through working with an AI system that is capable of helping the physician to harness the prior experiences of other doctors and similar patients from across the world.

Dr. Omar Badawi (PharmD, MPH, FCCM) 

Omar Badawi, PharmD, MPH, FCCM is the Head of Health Data Science and AI in the Philips Patient Care Analytics business and leads the research for developing and validating product-related predictive algorithms and decision support tools.  He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the University  of Maryland School of Pharmacy and Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned a Master in Public Health degree with a focus in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is currently the Program Manager for the Philips eICU Research Institute which supports collaborative research between industry, academia and clinicians using de-identified clinical data representing over 3.5 million ICU patients. Dr. Badawi is also a Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Jonathan Rubin (PhD)

Jonathan Rubin, PhD is Senior Scientist at Philips Research North America and a Research Affiliate of the ALFA Group at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Jonathan received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Auckland in 2013. His PhD focused on the use of artificial intelligence in computer games. After his PhD, Jonathan worked as a researcher at Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto Research Center before joining Philips Research in 2016. In his current work, he develops algorithms using deep learning to automatically analyze medical data, including physiological waveforms and medical images.

Dame Diane Robertson

Dame Diane is a successful social sector entrepreneur, giving her a unique combination of strong business ,financial and data  skills with strong social sector credentials. 

Diane is the chair of the chair of the New Zealand Behavioural Insights  advisory group (Nudge Unit) and the Inaugural Chair of the Data Futures Partnership.  

The Partnership lead a nationwide engagement campaign with thousands of New Zealanders to examine the conditions for social licence of data use in New Zealand; explored the barriers to data use through research and projects; and identified potential solutions from innovations to strengthen the data system.

She is currently finalising the Trusted Data guidelines and writing the Governance of Data guidelines for boards of Directors and Trustees . The Governance of Data guidelines have been written to assist boards with developing a data strategy strongly aligned with their purpose and values

Diane is a former City Missioner at the Auckland City Mission. She designed the Family 100 Research project and was responsible for the collation and analysis of data gathered from the participants. This has become one of New Zealand’s leading authorities on families living in poverty. Working with Statistics New Zealand, Diane led a project to add Auckland City Mission data to the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). 

Her passion is to deliver better outcomes for New Zealanders through the development of sound policies informed by qualitative and quantitative data.

Dr. Matthew Strother (MD)

Matthew Strother is a practicing medical oncologist and clinical pharmacologist in CDHB in Christchurch, NZ, and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at University of Otago Christchurch.   He has a BA in Biomedical Ethics from Indiana University, and an MD from Indiana University School of Medicine.  He has a variety of professional interests, and has been engaged in clinical research, modelling and simulation of pharmaceuticals, and global health.   He continues to be actively involved in clinical care of cancer patients and clinical and translational research.  He is presently early in the process of pursuing a PhD in the clinical evaluation and governance of machine learning applications in healthcare through University of Otago Dunedin.

Mr. Yeshi Dorji 

Yeshi is the Chief ICT Officer, heading ICT initiatives in the departments of Ministry of Information & Communications, Royal Government of Bhutan. He has Masters in Information Technology from Murdoch University, Perth, Australia.  His has extensive experience working in the transport and aviation sector transformation in Bhutan. He currently heads the Data Analytics Initiative in the Royal Government of Bhutan.


Mr. Thinley Dorji 

Thinley is the Dy. Chief Statistical Officer in the Policy & Planning Division, Ministry of Information & Communications, Royal Government of Bhutan. He has Masters in Development Economics from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Thinley has experiences working in the field of data and statistics for more than 10 years helping the ministry with informed decisions making. 


Mr. Tshewang Chojay

Tshewang is the senior ICT Officer working in the nodal ICT agency, Department of IT & Telecom, in Bhutan. He has Bachelors of Computer Applications from the University of Madras, India.  His expertise ranges from eGovernment Project Management to Enterprise Architecture to ICT Business Analysis. He is currently involved in the Data Analytics Initiative in Bhutan.






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