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Nvidia Partners With NCI, DOE on Cancer Research Supercomputer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Computational technology firm Nvidia announced today that it has partnered with the National Cancer Institute, the US Department of Energy, and several national laboratories to build an artificial intelligence (AI) network that will support Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Called CANDLE — short for Cancer Distributed Learning Environment — the network is expected to act as a supercomputing platform that will help researchers better understand how cancer grows; discover new and improved cancer therapeutics; and gain insights into how these new drugs work at the population level, Nvidia said.

Specifically, CANDLE will be used to analyze molecular data in the NCI Genomic Data Commons to identify underlying genetic signatures present in the DNA and RNA of common cancers that may be predictive of treatment response. The platform will also be used to enhance molecular dynamic simulations of key protein interactions to understand the biological mechanisms that create conditions for cancer, and to build a comprehensive cancer surveillance database of disease metastasis and recurrence based on data from millions of clinical patients records.

The overall goal for the program is to achieve 10-fold annual increases in productivity for cancer researchers, the company said.

Other groups contributing to the effort include teams from the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. 

"AI will be essential to achieve the objectives of the Cancer Moonshot," Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director for computing, environment, and life sciences at Argonne, said in a statement. "New computing architectures have accelerated the training of neural networks by 50 times in just three years, and we expect more dramatic gains ahead."