NVIDIA this week announced a new partnership with Harvard and MIT’s Broad Institute to bring advanced analytics tools to the institute’s Terra Cloud platform and the more than 25,000 life science researchers who use it.
WHY IT MATTERS
By connecting NVIDIA’s computing and artificial intelligence tools with scientists at the Broad Institute, the open platform can help advance biomedical research, genomics and other innovations in precision medicine. The aim is to help academic researchers – as well as start-ups and big pharma – gain the AI-enabled computing power to mine large amounts of health data.
Initial focus will be on several key areas, according to the company, starting with Parabricks, a GPU-accelerated software suite for secondary analysis of sequencing data. NVIDIA says it’s making it available in six new Terra workflows, allowing researchers to analyze an entire genome in just over an hour, compared to 24 hours in a CPU-based environment. This in turn can significantly reduce computational costs.
Another focus will be building large language models that will help researchers develop fundamental models for DNA and RNA to better understand human biology. You can leverage NVIDIA’s BioNeMo technology, a just announced AI application framework designed for LLMs.
NVIDIA is also working on a new deep learning model for the Broad Institute’s Genome Analysis Toolkit, used by more than 100,000 researchers. It can help detect and identify genetic variants associated with diseases, driving drug research and the development of new treatments.
Broad Institute researchers will also gain access to MONAI, a medical imaging-focused deep learning framework, and NVIDIA RAPIDS, a toolkit that can enable faster data preparation for single-cell genomic analysis.
THE BIGGER TREND
The Broad Institute works to innovate biomedical and precision medicine, expanding its open cloud platform to connect researchers and provide them with data sets and powerful AI tools to analyze genomic and other life science data for scientific breakthroughs.
This is happening with several technology partnerships like the one with NVIDIA. For example, in 2021 it launched a new collaboration with Microsoft and Verily to accelerate new advances in biomedicine via the Terra platform.
But the MIT-Harvard joint research venture has also been generous with its own technological innovations. In 2017, the Broad Institute open sourced its GATK genome analysis software to make it available to more science researchers.
ON THE RECORD
“Across the healthcare ecosystem, there is a need for better computing tools to enable breakthroughs in the way we understand disease, diagnose, and deliver treatments,” said Kimberly Powell, NVIDIA’s vice president of healthcare, in a statement. “By expanding our collaboration with the Broad Institute, we can harness the power of large language models to ultimately deliver shared solutions and narrow the gap between researcher insights and real patient benefits.”
“The life sciences are in the midst of a data revolution, and researchers urgently need a new approach to bring machine learning to biomedicine,” added Anthony Philippakis, Chief Data Scientist at the Broad Institute. “With this collaboration, we aim to expand our mission of data sharing and collaborative processes to scale genomic research.”
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