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$2 million computer will help unravel major medical ailments
Date:7/16/2008

A federal grant will allow Johns Hopkins researchers to purchase a powerful $2 million computer that will speed up their efforts to find new ways to diagnose and treat brain disease, heart illnesses, cancer and other medical ailments.

The Institute for Computational Medicine, based at Johns Hopkins' Homewood campus in Baltimore, will receive one of the 20 High-End Instrumentation Grants for 2008 awarded by the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health. The one-time grants, announced today, are awarded to support the purchase of sophisticated equipment costing more than $750,000, machines with the potential to impact a wide range of biomedical research. The $2 million grant to the Johns Hopkins institute was the maximum amount allowed for any single project.

Launched in 2005 as one of the first, largest and most ambitious research centers of its kind, the Institute for Computational Medicine focuses on unraveling health problems through methods other than traditional "wet-lab" techniques such as growing cells in a dish. Some of its researchers, for instance, create elaborate computer models that mimic in virtual reality the real-world activity of living cells and organs. Researchers conduct experiments with these models, testing, for example, the effects of experimental medications. Others researchers use information technology to compare digital images of healthy and diseased tissue, looking for early indications of illness.

"With this federal grant, we will be able to buy a computer equipped with the next generation of microprocessors, hardware that will be available later this year," said Raimond L. Winslow, director of the institute. "It will be the most powerful computer at Johns Hopkins, and very few other places have a computer this powerful dedicated to solving these types of biomedical problems. The computer will allow us to move toward important discoveries in medical diagnoses a
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Contact: Phil Sneiderman
prs@jhu.edu
443-287-9960
Johns Hopkins University
Source:Eurekalert

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