*POSTPONED* March 13, 2020, 3.30pm. Presentation Studio, Big Data Hub, ASB.

JESSICA DENNIS, Assistant Professor, UBC Department of Medical Genetics and BC Children’s Hospital Investigator

No health without mental health: Harnessing electronic health records linked to a DNA biobank to understand relationships between mental and physical health

The last decade has seen an unprecedented explosion of data. In biomedicine, genomic data are increasingly being generated and linked with administrative health records, population health surveys, electronic health records (EHRs), and other -omic technologies. These data hold tremendous promise for human health. Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), hosts one of the largest single-site biobanks in the world with >2.8 million patient electronic health records (EHRs) and >275,000 linked DNA samples. In this talk, I will demonstrate how this unique resource can be leveraged to understand the long observed but poorly understood relationship between mental and physical health.

Dr. Jessica Dennis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, and an Investigator at BC Children’s Hospital. She is a genetic epidemiologist who applies computational methods to large-scale genomic and health data to identify the basis of human disease. Her research aims to understand how genetic, epigenetic, and environmental differences between people contribute to variation in disease susceptibility, response to treatment, and recovery, and to translate these discoveries into patient-centered, precision care. She conducts studies in large population datasets, with a major interest in administrative health databases, electronic health records, and biobanked samples. A primary goal of her research is to reduce the suffering associated with psychiatric disorders, many of which first manifest in childhood and adolescence. Dr. Dennis completed postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto, where she was a fellow in the interdisciplinary CIHR-STAGE Program (Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategic Training for Advanced Genetic Epidemiology).