Cultivate cross-disciplinary collaborations

  • Originally the brainchild of Silicon Valley, CA, hackathons have proven to be successful models for innovation in business settings and are typically organized as intense, short-duration, competitions in which teams generate innovative solutions. The hackathon model integrates collaboration, idea generation, and group learning by joining various stakeholders in a mutuallysupportive setting for a limited period of time.

    For health data analysis, the goal of the hackathon is to assemble clinical experts, data scientists, statisticians, and those with domain-specific knowledge to create ideas and produce clinically relevant research that reduces or eliminates biases, relies on sound statistical rigor and adequate data samples, and aims to produce replicable results. For that purpose, we have coined the term “datathon” as a portmanteau of data + hackathon, accentuating the application of the hackathon model to data analytics. For example, a critical-care datathon is an event in which participants are brought together to form interdisciplinary teams and answer research questions in the field of critical (that is, intensive) care.

    MSD Singapore is the industrial collaborator of our event. Their S$8 million Singapore IT Hub with state-of-the-art technologies brings together a wide span of core functions capabilities in the fields of IT Risk Management and Security, Data Science and Analytics, Bioinformatics and Digital Health Studio. The hub aims to harness digital innovation for better healthcare and improving the healthcare ecosystem with these capabilities to tackle the biggest challenges in converging healthcare, information, and technology.

  • Organzing Committee

    Dr. Mengling 'Mornin' Feng, Organizing Chair

    Assistant Professor: Senior Asst Director,


    Inka Pavelka

    Global Lead for The Academia Industry Partnership Organization (AIPO) at MSD

    Dr. Kee Yuan Ngaim

    Deputy Chief Medical Information Officer, NUHS

    Dr. Leo Celi

    Clinical Director, Lab for Computational Physiology, MIT

    Dr. E Shyong Tai

    Center for Personalized and Precision Medicine


    Director, NUHS

    Ivan Clement

    Data Scientist,


    Dr. Priyanka Grover

    Assistant Director IHIS

    Angie Lim

    Center for Personalized and Precision Medicine (CPPH) Manager,


  • The Student Committee

    Du Hao

    Liu Siqi

    Kiesha Prem

    Jane Lim

    Dang Trung Kien

    Ken Wei

  • Speakers & Organizers

    Dr. Leo Anthony Celi

    has practiced medicine in three continents, giving him broad perspectives in healthcare delivery. He holds a faculty position at Harvard Medical School as an intensive care specialist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is the clinical research director for the Laboratory of Computational Physiology (LCP) at MIT. He 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.

    Dr. Mengling Feng

    is currently an Assistant Professor at National University of Singapore with School of Public Health, School of Medicine and School of Computing. He is also the Senior Assistant Director of National University Hospital championing the big data analytics efforts. Dr Feng is also an affiliated scientist with the Lab of Computational Physiology, Harvard-MIT Health Science Technology Division. His research is to develop effective Big Data management and analysis methods to extract actionable knowledge to improve the quality of care. His research brings together concepts and tools across machine learning, optimization, signal processing, statistical causal inference and big data management. In particular, he has been publishing on physiological signal forecasting, modeling of disease progress trajectory, dynamic patient phenotyping, statistical understanding of treatment effects and management of heterogeneous medical big data. Dr. Feng’s work was recognized by both well-established journals, such as Science Translational Medicine, and top international conferences, such as KDD, AAAI and AMIA.

    Prof James Yip

    is currently a Senior Consultant in Department of Cardiology, National University Heart Centre, Singapore. He also holds the position of Group Chief Medical Information Officer in NUHS, and was previous Director for Congenital/ Structural Heart Disease.
    A/Prof James Yip graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1991 and has been a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Singapore since 2001. He was trained in adult cardiology at the National University Hospital in Singapore from 1995 to 2001, and was a clinical fellow at Toronto Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults from 2001 to 2002.
    He is currently the Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Programme at NUHCS in Singapore. His interests include pregnancy and heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, Marfan syndrome and medical informatics.

    Prof David Pilcher

    trained in respiratory and general medicine in the UK before moving to Australia in 2002. He has worked as a specialist in Intensive Care at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne since 2006. His interests include organ donation, lung transplantation, ECMO, severity adjustment of ICU outcomes, ICU performance monitoring and the epidemiology of Intensive Care medicine. He is presently the Chair of the ANZICS Centre for Outcome and Resource Evaluation (CORE) and a medical advisor to DonateLife in Victoria. He is also a Monash University Practitioner Fellow and Adjunct Clinical Professor with the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.

    Dr. Ngiam Kee Yuan

    is a Consultant General Surgeon specialising in Thyroid and Endocrine surgical disorders. Following the completion of his Advanced Specialist Training in General Surgery, he was awarded a fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and was accredited as a surgical specialist by the Specialist Accreditation Board, Singapore. He is concurrently the Deputy Chief Medical Informatics Officer at the National University Health System and Director of Surgical Research and Development at the Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. Dr Ngiam’s special interests are in thyroid and endocrine surgery, robotic thyroid surgery, bariatric and metabolic surgery as well as machine learning in clinical informatics.

    James W. Weis

    has founded and led multiple initiatives aimed at increasing the pace of innovation in healthcare. As Founding President of the MIT Biotechnology Group, the first MIT student group dedicated to fostering translational relationships between academia and the biotechnology industry, he oversaw growth to over 2,000 members in less than two years. James is also a Founding Partner of Adena Partners, a cross-border venture firm that develops, funds, and commercializes next-generation healthcare technologies, as well as co-organizer of the MIT Alumni Life Sciences Angel Group, which connects MIT-affiliated life sciences startups with alumni investors. James studied Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Computational & Systems Biology at MIT, and is currently completing his PhD in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he develops machine learning methods for the design of next-generation biocatalysts.

    Dr Mataroria Lyndon

    Mataroria is a physician from New Zealand where he was a Clinical Lead for at Ko Awatea, the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Improvement at Middlemore Hospital. His research field is in performance measurement of healthcare systems, and has completed his PhD in medical education. He then completed his Masters of Public Health at Harvard University as a Fulbright and Frank Knox Fellow in 2017. Mataroria is passionate improving the delivery of healthcare through public health and medical education, and reducing disparities through mobile health technologies.

    Professor Teo Yik Ying

    is currently the Vice-Dean (Research) at the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. Concurrently, he is also the Domain Leader of the Biostatistics Domain in the School. He also holds a joint appointment at the Department of Statistics & Applied Probability, NUS Faculty of Science, and is an Associate Faculty Group Leader with the Genome Institute of Singapore. Prof Teo has developed several landmark statistical methods and genomic databases, and these have elevated genomics research in Singapore to international standards. He is best recognised as an enabler and a facilitator of high-impact genomics research, such as the development of the Singapore Genome Variation Project. This has served as a foundational element to the success of many subsequent genetics projects in Singapore. He has also been exceptionally active in building research capacity both locally and regionally, having organised genomics training workshops in Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar.

    Dr. Wei-Hung Weng

    is currently a biomedical informatics fellow in Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts General Hospital, and will conduct his PhD research in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Prior to joining MIT, he received the MMSc in Biomedical Informatics from Harvard Medical School in 2017, earned his MD degree from Chang Gung University (Taiwan) in 2011, and worked as a physician and pathologist in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital for years. His research focuses on clinical decision support and knowledge discovery from unstructured data using large medical databases, natural language processing, ontology and machine learning approaches.

    Lawrence Tse

    is the VP of Sales and Marketing of Collabris, an AI platform on the Cloud that unifies different kinds of customer data into a Distributive Big Data store and enables Machine Learning while the deployment of it is cost effective, timely and easy-to-manage. He assists healthcare companies and hospitals getting benefits from their big data analytics to optimize daily operation, improve communication, and save more lives.

    Lawrence is an entrepreneur and has co-found three startups including a taxi booking mobile application which was acquired in 2014, a electronic touch screen menu, a student profile crowd design platform.

    In addition to his business work, he is a Certified Drucker Trainer (Research Disciplines: Innovation and Entrepreneurship) and a part time lecturer in Hong Kong University Centennial College, aiming at sharing his expertise to young entrepreneurs in Hong Kong.

    Lawrence holds a BA in marketing from the University of Houston, TX, USA.

    Inka Pavelka

    is currently the Global Lead for The Academia Industry Partnership Organization (AIPO) at MSD Singapore. Her organization fosters relationships among MSD and Academia, Governmental Agencies, Accelerators and Incubators, NGOs, and NPOs. AIPO also catalyzes collaborations and innovation models, partners, ecosystems, and communities - fostering knowledge and technology transfer and talent development. Her organization's present-day focus includes but is not limited to technology evaluation and knowledge sharing in Digital Health, Precision Medicine, Big Data and Analytics, AI and 3D printing areas. As part of her role in AIPO, Inka has designed and organized the Singapore Grand Challenge – an event gathering students across 8 universities in Singapore to design solutions for Digital Health. Before joining MSD in 2014, Inka held various global positions at Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corporation.

    Ivan Clement​

    is a data scientist with Merck & Co. (MSD), focused on applying advanced analytics, machine learning, and mathematical modeling techniques on pre-clinical and -omics data, health economics read-outs, and novel forms of real-world evidence. He has held research attachments with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Singapore-MIT for Research and Technology (SMART), and the Mechanobiology Institute, building experimental and computational platforms to interrogate cancer pathophysiology on multiple biological scales – using Monte-Carlo, agent-based, fuzzy logic, and differential equation-based modeling techniques. He was formerly a computational scientist with Eli Lilly and Company, building computational models of drug distribution and action in support of drug development programs and FDA regulatory submissions. While in Lilly, has also supported the development and the application of systems pharmacology modeling in diabetes and immuno-oncology drug development.

    A/Prof. James Pang

    is currently an Associate Professor at the NUS Business School and the School of Computing at National University of Singapore. He is also a Co-Director of NUS Business Analytics Center. His research focuses on Big Data Analytics, Business Analytics (BA) architecture, modelling methodology and algorithm development. He has rich multi-industry experience in Healthcare, Manufacturing, Supply Chain/Logistics, Retail, and Government sectors, and has been working in analytics and optimization areas in the last 15 years. Prior to the current role, he was the Client Technical Advisor (Chief Architect) in Analytics and Optimization at IBM, and led the IBM technical solution design in ASEAN Public Sector. Previously, he was also a Senior Manager and Lead Architect at IBM R&D Labs in charge of analytics and optimization product development. Before joining IBM, Dr. Pang was a Research Scientist at Motorola Labs and focused on development and implementation of Operations Research models and methods to solve problems in supply chains and manufacturing systems.