The basic and translational research presented at the YoungEHA Research Meeting highlighted several topics in hematology ranging from epigenetics to artificial intelligence (AI), the latter of which may have strong implications in hematology over the years to come, said Mandy Lauw, MD, PhD, physician scientist and chair of the YoungEHA committee.
Lauw cochaired a session at the 2022 European Hematology Association (EHA) Congress, entitled, “Ethics and integrity of science and AI in hematology.”
Can you provide an overview of the content presented at the 6th edition of the YoungEHA Research Meeting?
The YoungEHA Research Meeting is always attached to the EHA Congress. So, this is the fourth time that we’ve done it in this format. It’s always on the Thursday before the entire meeting, and it’s a full day dedicated to basic and translational research. So, really preclinical research, where we select 5 topics.
This time, we had a variety of topics spanning both preclinical malignant disease as well as nonmalignant diseases where we have 1 keynote speaker, and 3 to 4 PhD students presenting their work. And this time, it was spanning from epigenetics and chromatin reorganization to hemopoietic stem cells, and also more about artificial intelligence.
It’s a wide span of basic and translational research, and metabolism as well. So, I think it was a very successful day. We had over 300 attendees, in fact, almost throughout the entire day. Got a lot of enthusiastic questions from the audience, also from the younger generation.
We’re really happy to see that. And we were hoping to be able to continue this format for the next years and to keep it as one day of basic and translational research before the actual Congress.
What were some core themes of the session you cochaired on ethics of science and artificial intelligence in hematology at EHA2022?
We had a session this morning, with Elizabeth Bik, PhD, and Amin Turkey, PhD, giving presentations. The first one was about research integrity, which I think is something that’s not really dedicated so much attention to yet in the field of hematology. So, Bik detailed her work, which she does on especially image fraud in scientific articles. She showed us what types of frauds are possible that she discovered earlier on. And then she also showed some examples of hematology.
I think it’s something that we do not pay enough attention to yet, especially in basic and translational research. There’s a lot of images used, also the bots that she indicated that she found a lot of fraud with. And I think it’s something that really needs to be paid attention to.
The presentation of Amin Turkey afterwards is actually nice, because he showed how artificial intelligence and computational biology can change the field of hematology as well. So, we have a lot of big data in hematology and we can use the data to create algorithms, using computational biology and artificial intelligence to predict complications, to predict disease, and to predict how treatment outcomes should be and what treatment strategies there should be followed.
But at the same time, I think that was the fun part, I think of the session, which, unfortunately, we ran a little bit long, so we could not attend too many questions to that. But there’s a danger in both.
So, I think what Elizabeth Bik also highlighted is that not everyone should do her work, because it can actually harm your own career, but it’s good to be aware of it, especially in your roles as editorial board members or reviewers of papers that you can indicate that. And with the possibilities that we have with computational biology and artificial intelligence, [there] actually looms also the danger of creating more fabricated data and more fabricated images perhaps because of the intelligence that we do have.
I think it was a nice thing for the next generation of researchers and hematologists to be aware of and something that I’m pretty sure will have a stronger voice in the upcoming sessions of the EHA Congress over the coming years.