Gina Tourassi Named Oak Ridge Associate Lab Director for Computing and Computational Sciences

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Gina Tourassi has been named associate laboratory director for Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate (CCSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She replaces Shaun Gleason, interim ALD since the departure of Doug Kothe for Sandia National Laboratories last June.

Kothe, who also served as director of the Exascale Computing Project, replaced retired CCSD ALD Jeff Nichols in 2021.

Tourassi had served as director of the National Center for Computational Sciences and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. She joined ORNL in 2011 as the director of the Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Center. In 2014, she became the founding Director of the Health Data Sciences Institute.

“Gina has decades of research leadership leveraging AI, big data and high-performance computing for scientific breakthroughs,” the lab said. “She has also championed large-scale computing infrastructure projects and the enhancement of capabilities at ORNL. One example is the deployment of Frontier, the world’s first exascale computer. This effort required overcoming supply chain and workforce challenges to procure millions of components and to safely install 74 HPE Cray EX supercomputer cabinets.”

Tourassi came to Oak Ridge after a career in the department of radiology and the medical physics graduate program at Duke University Medical Center. In addition, she is an adjunct professor of radiology at Duke and the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, joint UT-ORNL faculty of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the Bredesen Center.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Aristotle University in Greece and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Duke. She is a Fellow of the American Leadership Team et al. Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, SPIE (international society for optics and photonics), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In 2016, she won the Secretary’s Appreciation Award for her leadership of the DOE-National Cancer Institute interagency partnership focused on the advancement of cancer research with exascale computing. She was also part of three teams honored with Secretary’s Honor Awards, including two recognitions in 2021 for contributions to the COVID-19 response.

Locally, she has been honored by the YWCA Knoxville, TN, for STEM mentorship of underrepresented groups.