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Two Cancer Research Teams Split $400K Nvidia Foundation Award

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Separate research teams from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Stanford University have received $200,000 grants from the Nvidia Foundation to support their efforts to apply computational methods to cancer research.

The awards come from Nvidia Foundation’s Compute the Cure effort, which supports projects that use parallel computing technology to yield breakthroughs in cancer treatment and diagnostics. The grant awardees were chosen by a panel of Nvidia employees, with support from researchers at the National Cancer Institute.

The team led by John Quackenbush, a professor of biostatistics and computational biology at Dana-Farber, hopes to identify more effective cancer therapies by analyzing tumor and clinical data collected from Dana-Farber patients. The group wants to use graphics processing units to speed up its search for patterns in data that could ultimately be linked to new treatments, and will also explore genetic similarities across different cancer types to see if treatments used for specific types of cancer could be repurposed to treat other forms of the disease.

Meantime, the team led by Vijay Pande, a professor of chemistry, structural biology, and computer science at Stanford, is seeking to use a combination of molecular simulation and machine learning techniques, and the user network of the Folding@home software program, a tool that simulates how proteins in the body assemble themselves, to better understand and predict tumor mutations in breast cancer patients with an eye towards identifying more effective therapies for the disease as well as other forms of cancer.