October 13, 2009
Marylyn Ritchie, who directs the Computational Genomics Core at Vanderbilt Medical Center, will be able to accelerate her research and nearly double her lab staff thanks to $923,000 from NIH. The goal of the project is to develop a way to integrate genetic data with other types of knowledge and with public databases. Although the sequencing of the human genome has generated a mountain of data, it's not easy to extract meaningful information from it — even with the help of a supercomputer. According to Ritchie, studying the genome is analogous to climbing a mountain. Having fast computers can provide the climber with strength, stamina and good tools. What's required to reach the top, however, is a strategy: a good route up the mountain. "Supercomputers must be programmed to analyze data in ways that reveal the greatest amount of significant information. But it's going to take time to find the best route up the mountain," she said.
This article originally appeared on the Vanderbilt University website. Reposted with permission.