HP and TCAG Collaborate to Advance Medical and Environmental Genomic Discovery in Life Science
News Oct 16, 2007
HP and The Center for the Advancement of Genomics (TCAG), a policy and research center affiliated with the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation based in Rockville, Md., have announced a formal research and development collaboration to further the goals of advancing medical and environmental genomic discovery in the life sciences.
Serving as a real-world test and development environment for tools, systems, and technologies developed by HP and select partners, the HP and TCAG research and development collaboration is intended to enable continuous improvement and development of solutions for the life science market.
Among the areas HP and TCAG plan to investigate is predictive medicine, which enables healthcare providers to use genomic data to evaluate the probability that an individual will develop serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer or mental illness, and then to offer lifestyle advice or medical treatment with the aim of preventing the predicted illness.
“HP and TCAG have each made substantial investments in technology and engineering to advance the state of the art in genomic medicine,” said Rich Zippel, director, HP Cambridge Research Lab, who leads the healthcare and life sciences research effort. “By combining the performance and support of HP solutions and services and HP Labs research with TCAG's scientific expertise, we plan to realize the goal of predictive medicine for individuals in the future.”
“This collaboration represents an exciting opportunity to significantly advance the technology resources needed in the life sciences,” said Marshall Peterson, chief information officer, J. Craig Venter Science Foundation.
“With ever increasing amounts of genomic data being generated by the research teams at the Venter Science Foundation affiliate organizations – from human genome resequencing efforts to environmental shotgun sequencing through our Sorcerer II Expedition, the need for creative and effective technology solutions continues to expand. We look forward to working with HP to enhance ways to make genomic advances relevant for researchers and the general public.”
HP and TCAG will begin their collaboration focusing on the following research projects:
• Creation of a highly optimized, scalable genome-sequencing pipeline based on software developed by TCAG and underlying HP technology;
• Reduction of the cost of sequencing genomic and proteomic data while exponentially increasing throughput to enable the use of this data in predictive medical treatments;
• Collaboration with other research organizations to establish standards for data and tools and cost-effective ways in which open source technologies can meet the increasing demand for computing power at affordable costs.
The technology objective of this collaboration is to design solutions that are easy to deploy, cost-effective and based on open standards. HP and TCAG will work together to optimize tools, algorithms and software applications and to develop novel solutions based on a wide range of technologies ranging from supercomputers to disk arrays to mobility devices.
HP will provide TCAG with an array of technologies and solutions to support its current infrastructure, high-performance technical computing and data storage environments. HP Labs will contribute engineering expertise and advanced research to TCAG and other Venter Science Foundation affiliates. In addition, HP Services will deliver consulting and installation services and support for benchmarking, porting and tuning software applications.
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.