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Welcome, Readers!

By Nitish Thakor

Welcome to our second issue of the Life Sciences Newsletter! We hope that you have already subscribed or will subscribe to the Newsletter so you can receive our articles on a regular basis. We also urge you to inform your colleagues about this exciting Newsletter that is linked to the IEEE Life Sciences Portal.

This month we feature a short video interview with Martin Kohn, of IBM Research, who discusses progress on teaching IBM Watson to assist in producing medical diagnoses. And we follow that up with an article on Watson by Dr. Kohn and three other IBM researchers, Chalapathy Neti, Shahram Ebadollahi, and David Ferrucci.

One of the hottest topics in the field of biology is ‘synthetic biology’. We bring you a view by Christopher Voigt of MIT on some very interesting work his lab is doing in this area.

And finally, I conclude my two-part article on the Brain-Machine Interface. I trust that you will find this of great interest.

We look forward to your active participation in this Newsletter. We hope that many of you will send us your comments and suggestions and submit cutting edge scientific news stories, share emerging technologies, discoveries and breakthroughs, for possible publication in future issues. Send them to us at

Nitish Thakor, Editor-In-Chief
Lee Moffitt, Managing Editor

About the Newsletter

The IEEE Life Sciences Newsletter is a new initiative to bring forth interesting articles and informative interviews within the exciting field of life sciences every month. Please subscribe to the Newsletter to receive notification each month when new articles are published.

May 2012 Contributors

Dr. Martin KohnDr. Martin Kohn is Chief Medical Scientist for Care Delivery Systems in IBM Research. He is a leader in IBM's support for the transformation of healthcare, including development of personalized care, outcomes-based models and payment reform. Read more

Chalapathy NetiChalapathy Neti is currently the Director and Global Leader, Healthcare Transformation, at IBM Research. In this role he leads IBM's global research, spanning 9 worldwide labs, on information technology innovation for healthcare transformation. Read more

Dr. Shahram EbadollahiDr. Shahram Ebadollahi is the senior manager of the Healthcare Systems and Analytics Research at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York. He and the team of scientists working with him conduct research in the broad area of health informatics. Read more

David A. FerrucciDavid A. Ferrucci is an IBM Fellow and the Principal Investigator for the DeepQA Watson/ Jeopardy! project. He has been at the T. J. Watson Research Center since 1995, where he leads the Semantic Analysis and Integration Department. Read more

Nitish V. ThakorNitish V. Thakor is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, as well as the Director of the newly formed institute for neurotechnology, SiNAPSE, at the National University of Singapore. Read more

Dr. Christopher VoigtDr. Christopher Voigt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, and is co-director of the Center for Integrative Synthetic Biology. Previously, he was a member of the faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at University of California, San Francisco. Read more