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OHSU teams with Intel to decode the root causes of cancer and other complex diseases
Date:4/22/2013

ysicists, genomicists, bio-informaticists, biologists and other experts. The team's first projects will be focused on genetic profiling of patients' tumors to look for patterns in how the disease progresses and how to relate this information to how the tumor will respond to treatment.

"This collaboration combines Intel's strengths in developing energy-efficient, extreme-scale computing solutions with OHSU's lead in visualizing and understanding complex biological information," said Stephen Pawlowski, Intel Senior Fellow and Chief Technology Officer, Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, Intel Corp. "We look forward to working together with the goal of improving the efficiency of complex disease diagnosis and personalized treatment."

The science inside

Working side by side with cancer as their first disease target, Intel's engineers and OHSU's biomedical experts are looking to develop a way to create a highly detailed circuit diagram of the genome. By comparing an individual patient's circuitry with the map of a healthy genome, scientists can isolate and study the patient's individual genetic abnormalities to determine which, if any, are linked to cancer. It sounds simple, but the computational demands of this work are intense, requiring clusters of supercomputers and customized algorithms geared to decode the bewildering complexity of human genetic variation.

One of the primary computing challenges is the need to analyze enough disease-causing malfunctions in a sufficiently large population of patients to detect statistically valid patterns in cellular circuitry linked to the progression of disease. Better understanding of how this circuitry works has potential to enable medical researchers to develop detection tools that find cancer at earlier and more treatable stages, diagnosis and staging methods that more precisely guide treatment decisions, and new treatments that more effectively shut down the molecular triggers
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Contact: Elisa Williams
503-494-8231
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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