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Researchers Win Gordon Bell Special Prize for Models that Track COVID Variants

GenSLMs team members at the SC22 conference

Members of the GenSLMs team received the Gordon Bell Special Prize for HPC-Based COVID-19 Research at the SC22 conference.

Credit: Jo Ramsey

Scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and a team of collaborators have won the 2022 ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research for their method of quickly identifying how a virus evolves. Their work in training large language models (LLMs) to discover variants of SARS-CoV-2 has implications to biology beyond COVID-19.

The researchers leveraged Argonne's supercomputing and AI resources to develop and apply LLMs toward tracking how a virus can mutate into more dangerous or more transmissible variants, or a variant of concern (VOC).

Existing methods to track VOCs can be slow. To solve this problem, computational biologist Arvind Ramanathan and his colleagues at Argonne, together with collaborators from the University of Chicago, Nvidia, Cerebras Inc., University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, California Institute of Technology, New York University, and Technical University of Munich, created a way to accurately and rapidly identify VOCs. They describe their work in "GenSLMs: Genome-Scale Language Models Reveal SARS-CoV-2 Evolutionary Dynamics."

From Argonne National Laboratory
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