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Exclusive Interview with Mark DePristo, BigHat BioScience speaker at AI in Drug Discovery 2021

SMi Reports: Speaker interview released for SMi’s 2nd Annual AI in Drug Discovery Conference taking place on 15 – 16 March 2021 as a virtual conference with online access only.

Industry experts are set to discuss and explore the latest innovations in machine learning for enhancing discovery pipelines at the 2nd Annual AI in Drug Discovery Conference, taking place as virtual event with online access only. 

SMi Group had the opportunity to speak with our key speaker Mark DePristo, CEO & Co-Founder at BigHat Bioscience for the conference, to discuss some of the challenges they face in the industry and their strategies for overcoming them.

Mark DePristo is Founder and CEO of BigHat Biosciences, an early-stage Bay Area startup reimagining antibody discovery and engineering with synthetic biology and machine learning to create better antibodies faster and undertake novel designs far beyond what's possible today. Mark founded and led the Genomics team in Google Brain, was Vice President of Informatics at SynapDx, and co-director of Medical and Population Genetics at the Broad Institute. He has a BA in Computer Science and Math from Northwestern University, a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar, and was a Damon Runyon Fellow at Harvard University in evolutionary biology. Dr. DePristo's academic articles are widely published and have received more than 73,000 citations.

Mark DePristo’s in depth speaker interview can be downloaded on the conference website in the ‘download centre', and below is a snippet of the exclusive interview. 

What are your thoughts on the paradigm shift to data-driven therapeutic discovery and how is this currently impacting your role?
‘As CEO of BigHat Biosciences, one of the new crop of AI/ML + bio companies leading the shift towards data-driven therapeutic discovery, I literally spend all day thinking about the role of data in drug discovery today and tomorrow. Our biggest opportunity today is to integrate our existing lab capabilities with synthetic biology and modern data science so we can finally move away from naive screening to directly engineering the properties we need for our therapeutic molecules to be safe and effective.’ 

Where do you think the biggest growth area will be in 2021 and how would you like to see the market developing in the future?
‘Our prediction is that 2021 will see major growth in the appetite for and application of AI/ML technologies for drug discovery and development across the entire industry. Many case studies will appear next year about how to leverage AI/ML in drug development from a maturing class of start-ups in this space. And many established players in biotechnology and biopharma will make large, public investments in AI/ML efforts.’

To view the full interviews and latest brochure with the two-day agenda and full speaker line-up details, please visit:

Sponsored by OpenEye Scientific 
Interested in sponsoring, exhibiting or speaking at this event? Contact Alia Malick, Director, on +44 (0) 20 827 6168 or email 

For media enquiries, contact Simi Sapal on +44 (0) 20 7827 6162 or 

SMi’s 2nd Annual AI in Drug Discovery Conference 
Conference: 15 – 16 March 2021
Virtual Conference: Online Access Only  

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Last Updated: 23-Dec-2020