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Fred Hutchinson uses IBM technology to help find genetic links to immune-system diseases

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center today announced that its researchers are using IBM technology to help discover why some people are more susceptible than others to infectious and autoimmune diseases, such as leukemia and AIDS. The research also seeks answers to medical mysteries such as why vaccines protect some individuals better than others and why some close donor-recipient transplants fail.

Through an IBM Shared University Research (SUR) Award that includes computer hardware, software and research expertise, Fred Hutchinson and IBM are developing a new information system to support research on the human immune system. The new Molecular and Clinical Integrated Platform is designed to facilitate collaboration among Fred Hutchinson scientists and provide faster and more efficient access to information that could lead to scientific discovery.

"Right now, we spend too much time planning and positioning to overcome obstacles to managing increasingly complex data," said John Hansen, head of Fred Hutchinson's Immunogenetics Program. "A coordinated data-sharing system would be a much more productive and efficient way for research colleagues to interact. If, through our collaboration with IBM, we can make this approach work, it will provide opportunities and impetus for new collaborations."

At the core of the Fred Hutchinson system is IBM DiscoveryLink* data integration technology, designed to help researchers integrate and share data from a variety of sources, formats and file types. Using DiscoveryLink, researchers can consolidate information from many sources into a 'virtual database' to help solve complex medical research problems.

Fred Hutchinson's information technology infrastructure also includes an IBM eServer* pSeries* server running the Linux** operating system, for processing DNA sequence data. This system will complement advanced DNA-sequencing equipment at Fred Hutchinson, which is used to study genes that det
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Contact: Susan Edmonds
sedmonds@fhcrc.org
206-667-2896
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
12-Aug-2003


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