Adam West

Title: Director, Research Data Sciences and Engineering

Company: Eli Lilly and Company

Presentation Title: "Building a Digital Data Solution for Actionable Insights: Perspective from the Trenches"


As a 145+ year old company with a rich tradition in data and analytics, Lilly Research Labs has a unique opportunity to unlock the power of the treasure trove of data to enable novel and best-in class therapeutics discovery. To achieve this grand aspiration, in the last two years Lilly has made a tremendous investment to develop and implement Phase 1 of our strategy that will result in a transformational shift to the cloud, creation of the digital data library and an application ecosystem that sets the stage for actionable insight. As Lilly Research Information and Digital Solutions has developed our strategy, processes, organization and operations approach for deriving value from data for therapeutics discovery, we have learned key lessons around the technical and cultural approaches required to use digital data across the company’s entire value chain.

In this panel discussion, Lilly Research Data Sciences and Engineering will share from the trenches perspective on how we listened to our internal technical experts who augmented and learned from a range of organizations including Tencent, Google, Microsoft, Uber, Stitch Fix, NVIDIA, from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT to build out our Data and Analytics ecosystem with modern approaches. Please join Andrea de Souza, Senior Director Research Data Sciences with Jonathon Klinginsmith (Head, High Performance Computing), Adam West (Head, Data Engineering), Vinny Romano (Head, Data Operations), Bobak Kechavarzi (Lead, AI/ML Platforms) Yue Webster (Head, Translational Informatics) as we explore how we are accelerating value creation from data for Lilly Research.



Adam West leads the Data Engineering team in Research Data Science and Engineering at Eli Lilly and Company. He’s responsible for a group individuals with a diverse set of backgrounds including biology, machine learning, and computer science. His group is tasked to support robust analysis, facilitate discovery research, sharing of data and tools, foster collaboration, and remove limitations of scale and technical complexity. The group has responsibilities for Research Data Engineering, computer methods development, and analytics with a focus on bio- and chemo-informatics. Recent projects include the Research.Data Program on Amazon, Omics Data Infrastucture development (ODIN), Auto-immune human transcriptome array development and analysis, cell-line and PDX model support and analysis, RNASeq and Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) pipeline development, cancer immuno-biology biomarker workflow, external intelligence and natural-language processing, diabetes patient journey social listening, and assay support for proteomics and 2D cell imaging.

In his nearly 25 years with Lilly, Adam has worked in US Demand and Market Research, Lilly Research Labs, and Clincial Development. In those areas, Adam lead the development of tailoring systems for genomic assays in clinical outcomes, PK/PD and adverse events to support hypothesis generation and exploration of study results. He also constructed a genomic management system integrating biological tools and external NCBI data sources. He also built a large scale data warehouse system for the analysis of prescribing habits of physicians across the US. Prior to Lilly, Adam worked with an environmental research company where he constructed a laboratory information managemenet systems (LIMS), instrument automation, logistics tracking systems and system administration for UNIX/Oracle systems.

Adam attended Indiana University/Purduce University (IUPUI) in the field of Computer Science. He left the univserity to start a small software development and game company that has since produced several computer and hobby board games, working with manufactuers, distributors and publishers throughout the world. He and his wife Ellen live in Indianapolis, Indiana.