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Tackling the Pangenomics Computing Challenge


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Cornell University's Zhiru Zhang, Christopher Batten, and Adrian Sampson

The Panorama project team includes Cornell Associate Professor Zhiru Zhang (left), Associate Professor Christopher Batten (center), and Assistant Professor Adrian Sampson.

Credit: Eric Laine

Christopher Batten, associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, is leading the Panorama project, a five-year, $5 million effort funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation to create the first integrated rack scale acceleration paradigm specifically for computational pangenomics.

The project includes seven principal investigators from three universities: Cornell, the University of Washington, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

The project will design and build a prototype computer that enables computational biologists to better see the "genetic dark matter" of population-wide genomics.

"We have an opportunity to generate specialized, single-purpose hardware that is really only capable of solving . . . enormous genomics problems," says Adrian Sampson, an assistant professor of computer science at Cornell. "If we can achieve it, we'll help biologists solve problems that they can't even begin to approach with the computers they have today."

From Cornell University
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