InsideHPC Guide to Genomics

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Processing complex genomic data sets requires massive compute power, storage and network capabilities. Getting the balance right is critical to success. The insideHPC Guide to Genomics is a 5 part article series that looks at the benefits, challenges of applying HPC to Genomics as well as many success stories.


There are times when a convergence of technologies happens that can benefit a very large number of humans in order to improve their well-being. A number of technological innovations are coming together that can greatly enhance the recovery from life-threatening illnesses and prolong and improve the quality of life.

With a combination of faster and more accurate genomic sequencing, faster computer systems and new algorithms, the movement of discovering what medicine will work best on individual patients has moved from research institutions to bedside doctors. Physicians and other healthcare providers now have better, faster, and more accurate tools and data to determine optimal treatment plans based on more patient data. This is especially true for pediatric cancer patients. These fast-moving technologies have become the center of a national effort to help millions of people overcome certain diseases. “Tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes — and to give all of us access to the personalized information we  need to keep ourselves and our families healthier,” stated President Obama in the 2015 State of the Union speech in January. This was followed up with a White House speech on more of the specifics of the program. From the White House fact sheet on this proposal, “Building on President Obama’s announcement in his State of the Union Address, today the Administration is unveiling details about the Precision Medicine Initiative, a bold new research effort to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease.”

Personalized (or “precision,” per President Obama) medicine holds the key to innovative approaches to manage diseases on an individual level. Various decisions regarding the management of healthcare to each individual will be customized, based on the knowledge of the person’s genetic or cellular information. Diagnosis of diseases, treatment and drug use can be tailored for each person. However, a number of challenges exist as this scientific field moves forward, such as regulatory oversight, intellectual property rights and patient privacy.

The insideHPC Guide to Genomics will explore:

Next week we will look at the benefits to both individuals and organizations. If you prefer you download the complete insideHPC Guide to Genomics in PDF form by clicking here, courtesy of Dell and Intel.