2016 Rising Star Awards
Director of Biomedical Informatics Development, Leidos Biomedical Research
- By Aisha Chowdhry
- Nov 11, 2016
Using genomic data to improve patient treatment is a key goal of the Obama administration, and Brent Coffey is doing his part by supporting the National Cancer Institute in designing,deploying and operating the biomedical informatics expert systems used to drive two clinical trials that are testing the use of precision medicine to treat cancer patients.
Coffey not only completed the systems ahead of schedule and under budget, but he also championed the use of cloud platforms for development and production, led efforts to establish a continuous integration and deployment process, and transformed traditional software development teams into agile teams.
Recognizing that accuracy of treatment assignment was critical to the success of the clinical trials, Coffey wrote the supporting Food and Drug Administration documents and worked with his quality assurance engineer to develop processes that would ensure the systems’ accuracy. He personally tested many of the processes and walked through the procedures with NCI officials.
In addition to serving as the technical expert on the biomedical informatics system, Coffey is also the facilitator and catalyst of new and improved processes at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research and NCI’s Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology.
His efforts have demonstrated that agile methodologies can work in the federal government even while maintaining compliance with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Enterprise Performance Life Cycle framework and that, using his approach, complex projects can be developed within exceedingly tight timelines without sacrificing quality.
One of his colleagues described Coffey as “a very passionate individual who believes not only in the job he is doing but why he is doing that job.”
Aisha Chowdhry is a former staff writer for FCW.