AI in Healthcare with Peter Lee

800 800 The TWIML AI Podcast (formerly This Week in Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence)

In this episode, we’re joined by Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Research responsible for the company’s healthcare initiatives.

Peter and I met a few months ago at the Microsoft Ignite conference, where he gave me some really interesting takes on AI development in China. You can find more on that topic in the show notes. This conversation centers the three impact areas Peter sees for AI in healthcare, namely diagnostics and therapeutics, tools, and the future of precision medicine. We dig into some examples in each area, and Peter details the realities of applying machine learning and some of the impediments to rapid scale.

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About Peter

Mentioned in the Interview

“More On That Later” by Lee Rosevere licensed under CC By 4.0

  • William Matern

    I enjoyed hearing about the work going on at Microsoft in the healthcare sphere presented by Dr. Peter Lee. However, I felt that some of his statements about the T-cell Receptor (TCR) were a little misleading.

    In particular he described a recent “breakthrough” paper that reported the discovery that “in that receptor [the TCR] there is a small snippet of DNA”. I was surprised I hadn’t heard of this “discovery” of DNA inside the TCR given that I work in an area close to immunology. After a bit of searching, I believe the paper that Dr. Lee was referencing is

    Importantly, this paper did NOT report DNA inside the TCR. The TCR is a protein complex on the outside surface of T-cells. DNA is usually in the nucleus of the cell. It would be a huge surprise if there were DNA inside the TCR. The above paper instead showed that a small DNA sequence WITHIN THE NUCLEUS of T-cells can be used to predict previous CMV infection. More specifically this segment is in the gene that codes for the TCR-beta protein (which is probably the reason for the confusion). I believe Dr. Lee was trying to say something to this effect, but as stated, it sounded as if there were a recent discovery of extracellular DNA bound to the TCR – which is wrong.

    Just wanted to make this small correction for listeners less familiar with T-cells. Love the show, please keep making them!


  • Peter Lee

    Thanks, Will. I really appreciate your interest and the insightful comments. I’ve just had a chance to listen to the podcast myself (always hard to listen to one’s self…) and indeed I described the biology clumsily, giving the misleading idea of extracellular DNA, instead of being clear that the DNA snippet codes for the TCR-beta protein.

    There are a few other points throughout the podcast where I say things that make me cringe a bit, though I had tons of fun chatting with Sam and hope that overall the conversation conveyed some useful insights. I’ll definitely be listening in on all the others!

    – Peter Lee

  • Clinical Research

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