IBM to support U.K. projects through Shared University Research award

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Cambridge University Cancer Research Centre in the United Kingdom is one of three healthcare entities that will benefit from IBM Corp.'s Shared University Research (SUR) award.

The Cambridge University Department of Oncology at the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre is working with IBM in the emerging field of computational genomics to gain insight into the development of cancer and investigate methods for its prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The centre plans to use IBM's computing technology and research resources to integrate appropriately de-identified clinical information from electronic patient records with knowledge about the human genome. Researchers hope to identify novel genes responsible for the development of cancer and find ways of predicting which patients will respond positively to therapy, improving the success ratio of treatment.

Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, are using IBM technology and research resources to help establish an international Centre for Advanced Cellular Modeling and Simulation.

EMBL researchers will analyze protein interactions in the body and hope to unravel the molecular mechanisms behind cell division. Both areas are fundamental to the understanding of cellular processes that can lead to the development of fatal diseases like cancer.

Researchers at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), based near Cambridge, also are collaborating with IBM to use genomic and other high-throughput molecular information to better understand basic biology, evolution and the origin of disease.

At the core of the EBI's research infrastructure is an IBM eServer BladeCenter for Bioinformatics, running the Linux operating system. The system was designed by IBM Life Sciences to meet the demands of bioinformatics research organizations with an optimum configuration for typical high-throughput, bioinformatics environments.