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Interview with Evi Karakozoglou (Technical Lead, Research EMEA, Google Cloud)

Evi Karakozoglou is a Technical Lead at Google Cloud, specialising in Life Sciences Research & Healthcare Solutions. Her focus is on solving real-world problems with technology and ensuring security and sustainability. Evi has over 10 years experience in delivering applied research and commercial solutions across pharmaceutical, consumer goods and finance sectors globally. She also enjoys designing for scale and inspiring change!

You are currently the Technical Lead of Research for EMEA at Google Cloud – would you be able to provide some insight into your role?  

Evi: I work with research and healthcare organisations across the EMEA region to help them advance their research and operate really well with Google Cloud services. I focus on the design and implementation of secure and scalable cloud solutions, and on the operational framework required to ensure teams can leverage the best of our technology. 

Why did you choose to work at Google Cloud? 

Evi: I am a computer engineer by trade, with computational intelligence for the life sciences in my early research field. It’s very satisfying  to see that some of the old research problems that had consumed months of my life can now be solved easily with a readily available machine learning (ML) model in the AutoML product. Most of all though, I enjoy working for Google because of how we contribute to society as a whole. Being able to work for a company that enables users all over the world to search, learn and build more is a humbling and rewarding experience. Almost six years down the road, I still feel excited and happy to work here. The joy of solving problems! 

What role does Google Cloud play in the ever-growing challenge of data storage/analytics? 

Evi: Data-driven innovation is core to Google’s DNA. Our analytics and ML capabilities allow customers to better organise and understand their data, and use it to become intelligence-driven organisations. Particularly in the field of genomics, and wider healthcare and life sciences, Google Cloud contributes to significant discoveries and breakthroughs with industry leading research teams through data analytics and AI/ML. 

Whether it is clinical trial performance, biobanks and population health management, our Google Cloud services can help break data silos, bring collaborators together and enable our customers to achieve their most important goals, such as the work we’ve been doing with Moorfields Eye Hospital to help clinicians improve patient care through the use of ML models for eye disease detection. 

As genomic data volumes are rapidly increasing, Google Cloud services can help optimise the processing and the storage to ensure researchers can access the data they need, in carbon-free and sustainable systems, powered by Google Cloud. 

You’re speaking with Steven Newhouse from EMBL-EBI on Thursday morning of the Festival – what do you think will be the highlights of that talk?  

Evi: In my opinion, understanding more about the partnership we’re building and delivering together marks an exciting turning point in the industry. A key focus of the work we are doing with EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute, is how  to accelerate research through high performance computing solutions that will provide researchers with the tools to drive more effective and efficient research. This new way of managing and analysing the increasing volume of genomics data available in the region will help bring meaningful datasets to the global community faster and – with the necessary data science tools – explore and further scientific discovery. I hope the audience at the Festival of Genomics would find it interesting to hear more about that. 

Would you be able to provide more insight into your five-year strategic partnership? 

Evi: Absolutely! EMBL-EBI will use Google Cloud’s cloud infrastructure and services to accelerate the processing of data from the community, providing more value for researchers and stakeholders, and delivering new insights through EMBL-EBI’s data resources.

The partnership between Google Cloud and EMBL-EBI aims to:

  • Improve access to biomedical research through the use of cloud technology as an exemplar to the global community.
  • Use analytics and machine learning to glean better insights from data to help speed up the pace of scientific discovery and to distribute these insights globally.
  • Support EMBL-EBI’s multicloud and hybrid-cloud strategy by providing a flexible platform to develop new cloud tools and technologies.
  • Train EMBL-EBI staff in building, deploying, and using cloud-native applications to accelerate cloud adoption within the life sciences community.

How do you see Google Cloud’s role in the field of genomics biodata solutions evolve in the next 10 years? 

Evi: As we continue working with customers and partners in the industry, the impact of cloud computing becomes increasingly important – it’s sort of self-perpetuating. What’s most exciting is that cloud thinking is rapidly moving beyond just infrastructure and towards how emerging technologies can fundamentally change and improve how research takes place. 

Google Cloud will play a central role in supporting industry innovation working in partnership with new and existing customers to achieve meaningful clinical and research outcomes, particularly in the space of multi-omics and advanced sequencing. 

What are you most looking forward to at the Festival? 

Evi: I am incredibly excited to mingle again with the genomics community, and to connect with old and new faces. This is my third festival in a row, and I can’t wait to gather virtually this week and be inspired by new developments and opportunities. The community spirit is always so welcoming and allows for the greatest conversations. Looking forward to enjoying it with you all! 

Check Evi Karakozoglou’s talk at the Festival of Genomics and Biodata on Thursday 27th January at 9.30AM GMT/4:30AM EST. Register now: https://bit.ly/3GZlarc