[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

Eric Xing, associate professor of machine learning, language technology and computer science, has been awarded an IBM Open Collaboration Research (OCR) Award to develop novel and scalable ways to use very large data sets to search for associations between genetic variants and traits such as major diseases.

Xing will receive a total of $300,000 over two years for his project, “Scalable Genome-wide Association Studies: Towards a pipeline for large-scale personal genomics.” The OCR is the highest research award given by IBM to university faculty.

“We will provide efficient and scalable implementations using Big Data technologies, NIMBLE and SystemML,” Xing said. Both are infrastructures designed by IBM Research for rapid implementation of large scale parallel algorithms for machine learning and data mining. “Our goal is to lay the groundwork for a full personal genomics pipeline, making it feasible to use information from an individual’s genome to guide health care decisions.”

[Image Courtesy: Eric Xing, Carnegie Mellon University]