Webcast: Shubha Ghosh Speaks to Blockchain & Genomic Data Experts

Posted on Monday 3/12/2018
Shubha Ghosh

On Feb. 23, 2018, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh spoke with Dr. Vasiliki Rahimzadeh and David Koepsell about how blockchain technology can be used as a tool to share genomic data. 

Blockchain is a prominent tool for sharing large amounts of data that permits monitoring uses and transformation of data. Part storage device, accounting system, and tracking tool, blockchain allows participants to jointly use many kinds of data, such as financial data behind online currencies (such as Bitcoin) or genetic data valuable for scientific researchers. The latter is the focus of this webinar.

Rahimzadeh is a post-doctoral researcher at McGill University. Her work on blockchain technology for scientific research won an award for best poster session at the American Advancement of Science annual meeting in February  2018. David Koepsell, an attorney with a Ph.D. in philosophy from SUNY-Buffalo, has launched a Florida-based start-up named Encrypgen that distributes software to enable blockchain technology for the sharing large datasets of genomic information. 

Such sharing is important for research scientists and can protect the interests of a patient, who is the source for the underlying genes, against misappropriation and unauthorized use, a problem that is often litigated. This issue was the subject of a recent book and movie about cancer-patient Henrietta Lacks

The webinar explores Koepsell's start-up and Rahimzadeh's research and the interplay between commerce and science.