University of Toronto’s GPU-Accelerated Cancer Research Wins NVIDIA Foundation Award

Cancer kills almost 600,000 people each year in the U.S. alone.

Researchers from the University of Toronto are advancing computational cancer research by developing a “genetic interpretation engine” – a GPU-powered, deep learning method for identifying cancer-causing mutations.

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Depiction of an RNA molecule being transcribed from DNA, juxtaposed with an artificial neural network interpreting the genomic sequence. The computations performed by the neural network run inside NVIDIA GPUs.

Under its Compute the Cure initiative, the NVIDIA Foundation awarded the team a $200,000 research grant to further that work — and help them usher in an era of personal and effective cancer care.

“To make a big difference in genomic medicine, we’ve developed GPU-accelerated technologies for the computationally intensive work,” said the lead researcher Dr. Brendan Frey. “Now, we’re focused on the next step — to change the lives of patients stricken with cancer — by experimentally validating our technologies using data from these patients.”

The university team is using Tesla-accelerated servers, plus desktop machines equipped with TITAN X GPUs to overcome some of the roadblock in personalized medicine.

Read the NVIDIA blog for details on the team’s cancer research >>