RIT collaborates with IBM on genomic research

New doors to genetic understanding will open at a remarkable rate in the near future, thanks to upcoming applied research in the field of bioinformatics, say university and industry experts.

Ahead of the curve, Rochester Institute of Technology and IBM have launched a collaboration based on RIT bioinformatics expertise and IBM's scientific computer leadership. Toward that end--with the help of an award from IBM's Shared University Research (SUR) program--RIT is constructing an IBM eServer xSeries Linux Cluster to support a high-performance computing environment for genomic research and development.

RIT's new laboratory for Evolutionary and Comparative Genomics will collaborate with the IBM Research Computational Biology Center, beginning with use of IBM's software tools in RIT applications. This allows RIT to deepen research across departments, from information technology to biomedical science, and partner with medical universities and industry, while using and advancing the capabilities of the software.

"RIT is comparing genomes between organisms, and IBM has programs to make that process more efficient," says Gary Skuse, director of bioinformatics in RIT's Department of Biological Sciences. "We're extremely excited about all the overlaps we see in their research and our applications."

Potential and ongoing projects that will benefit from the IBM partnership are:

  • Identification of genes involved with late-onset hearing loss (research underway at RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf)
  • Protein database development
  • Bayesian network structure learning process

"Continued growth of the partnership we have developed with IBM is enabling RIT to participate in cutting edge bioinformatics research," says Donald Boyd, RIT associate provost for outreach programs. "Collaborations are in place not only among researchers in various departments within RIT, but also with our colleagues at th

Contact: Laurie Maynard
Rochester Institute of Technology

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