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Inaugural Council Members Include Practitioners from The Broad Institute, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Texas at Austin

PALO ALTO, Calif., September 28, 2016 - Cloudera, the global provider of the fastest, easiest, and most secure data management and analytics platform built on Apache Hadoop and the latest open source technologies, today unveiled its Precision Medicine Advisory Council to support the company’s commitment to the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) in advancing the use of data and analytics in precision medicine and genomics. The Advisory Council will help Cloudera evaluate grant applications from university labs requesting software and training to analyze and manage precision medicine data.

“The National Institutes of Health says that big data is one reason precision medicine can exist today at scale,” said Mike Olson, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Cloudera. “Cloudera knows big data, and our customers, partners, and colleagues have deep expertise in biology, bioinformatics, genomics combined with technology for in research and patient-centered applications. Our new Advisory Council will help us ensure that grantees under the Cloudera Precision Medicine program are advancing the state of the art in healthcare with big data.”

Inaugural members of the Precision Medicine Advisory Council include:

  • Niall Lennon, Ph.D. of the Broad Institute
    “Precision medicine requires a set of capabilities for genomics, clinical data, public and open data, HIPAA, security and more. Ensuring grantees can quickly stand up Cloudera and be effective with best practices approaches can ensure success.”

  • Tod Davis of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
    "Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is committed to embracing precision medicine, research, and improved outcomes," said Tod Davis of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, “Our long commitment to innovation to drive better pediatric outcomes continues through big data, especially as it relates to precision medicine.”

  • Sean Taylor, Ph.D. of Seattle Children’s Research Institute
    “In the world of the $1000 genome, our researchers are inundated with data. The challenge now isn’t to get enough data, it is to distill it; to find the connections, those nuggets that lead to brilliant insights and breakthrough technologies. Life science has become a data science, and that is what precision medicine is all about. Our goal is to empower researchers with the right tools and the right training to ask the right questions from the right data so that magic can happen.” 

  • Ari Kahn, Ph.D. of the University of Texas at Austin
    “Organizations like Cloudera who are adding their assets to the effort are key to enabling the community to leapfrog where we are today” said Ari Kahn, Ph.D. of the University of Texas at Austin. “As computer scientists and research scientists, we can add our expertise to bridge the gap between big data and precision medicine to ensure labs are able to succeed.”

“We have a world-class, experienced group of individuals joining our Advisory Council,” said Shawn Dolley, Industry Leader of Health and Life Science at Cloudera. “These are passionate practitioners who represent what the mission of precision medicine is about.”

Cloudera has committed to providing enterprise software and support to 50 labs performing precision medicine research, and to train 1,000 precision medicine researchers in the concepts of big data. To begin, the first grant awarded will be to Emory University for precision medicine research in women’s health. “The research we will do in women and children’s health will increasingly require big data,” said Alicia Smith Ph.D., Vice Chair of Ob/Gyn Research at Emory University School of Medicine. “Cloudera’s grant will provide us with the opportunity to be supported as we continue our informatics innovation leveraging genotype, methylation, and deep phenotypes.”

Cloudera expects to grow the Advisory Council over time to align with the growing number of grant applicants. Interested applicants can visit the program website and apply online starting in October 2016. For more information on Cloudera’s Precision Medicine Initiative, please visit:

About Cloudera

Cloudera delivers the modern data management and analytics platform built on Apache Hadoop and the latest open source technologies. The world’s leading organizations trust Cloudera to help solve their most challenging business problems with Cloudera Enterprise, the fastest, easiest and most secure data platform available for the modern world. Our customers efficiently capture, store, process and analyze vast amounts of data, empowering them to use advanced analytics to drive business decisions quickly, flexibly and at lower cost than has been possible before. To ensure our customers are successful, we offer comprehensive support, training and professional services. Learn more at

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Niall Lennon

Niall J. Lennon, PhD, is Senior Director of Translational Genomics and Product Development with the Genomics Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard. Niall has been working on NGS applications and technology development at the Broad for over 10 years. Most recently, Dr. Lennon oversaw the creation, certification and launch of a CLIA certified & CAP accredited laboratory within the Broad. He led the efforts to validate and implement a clinical Whole Exome sequencing test for both germline and somatic samples.

Niall is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University. Niall has received a Black Belt in Six Sigma for his work on process design and optimization. He also holds an executive certificate in Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Niall earned a PhD in Pharmacology, and a BSc from University College Dublin, Ireland.

Tod Davis

Tod Davis is the Manager of Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In this role, Tod manages successful implementation of systems for clinical prediction and data science, real-time diagnostics, NICU nurse enablement, population health and cohort discovery, and electronic health record outcomes analytics. Tod has over twenty years of experience in corporate information technology. Tod has four years of experience with Hadoop, and has worked with Spark since its inception. Tod stood up one of the first HIPAA compliant big data clusters in the US, and has spoken internationally on collecting streaming waveform data from the bedside and creating meaningful user interfaces for that data. Before this role, Tod served in multiple functions at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, including as an architect and developer. Tod is both a Cloudera Certified Administrator for Apache Hadoop and a Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop. Tod received a B.S. from George College and State University. Tod and his family live in Covington, Georgia, with Tod’s two hunting dogs.

Sean Taylor

Sean Taylor is the Manager for the Bioinformatics & High Throughput Analytics team at Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI). In this role, Sean manages the support delivery effort for bioinformatics and computational biology solutions for the eight research centers and almost 1,000 researchers at SCRI. In this visionary role, Sean’s experience with the spectrum of molecular and biological data—including omic, proteomic, cellular, and phenotypic—is leveraged to design and develop, shoulder to shoulder with researchers and clinicians, leading edge applications. Sean led design and development efforts for SCRI’s integrated precision medicine repository, and is now expanding the open source approaches and big data technologies to additional centers and cores. Prior to this role, Sean led the initiative to develop and implement a state-of-the-art bioinformatics core resource at SCRI. Prior to SCRI, Sean was a computational biologist at Amgen, customizing and driving usability in a range of end user interfaces and visualization tools while applying analytic code from multiple projects for areas such as immunotherapy and inflammation. Prior to Amgen, Sean was a post-doc at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where he developed a new ultrasensitive assay to detect rare mitochondrial DNA mutations in cancer and aging. Sean received a Ph.D from Yale University after completing a B.S. at Brigham Young University. Sean, his wife and three daughters live outside of Seattle, where he takes pleasure in coaching his daughter’s little league soccer team.

Ari Kahn

Ari Kahn, Ph.D (UT Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center): Dr. Kahn is the Human Translational Genomics Coordinator and co-executive director for P3 (Ensuring Privacy and Proprietary in Big Data for Population Informatics) project at TACC. One of Ari's focuses at TACC is supporting cyber-infrastructure projects for protected data (e.g. Precision Medicine Initiative). Dr. Kahn was the PI and Senior Scientist for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Data Coordination Center (DCC) for the National Cancer Institute prior to joining TACC. 

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