IBM has agreed to team up with biomedical research organization The Scripps Research Institute to conduct advanced research into pandemic viruses such as avian flu.
The objective of the collaboration, which has been named Project Check-mate, is to develop means to anticipate, manage and contain infectious diseases.
The Check-mate initiative will combine Scripps Research’s biochemical modeling and drug discovery research with IBM’s computational biology bio-patterning and supercomputing expertise.
The joint research team will exploit the use of IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer, the world’s fastest supercomputer technology, and have access to Scripps Research’s new state-of-the-art biomedical research facility, Scripps Florida, in Palm Beach County.
This combined team will have access to unparalleled resources from Scripps Research’s network of scientists and to IBM’s depth of expertise in bioinformatics, structural biology, life sciences research, functional genomics, systems biology, and medical informatics.
This combination of talent and technology will provide powerful and unique innovation to better understand and pro-actively anticipate the behavior of these complex viruses, said Pete Martinez, IBM senior executive for South Florida and vice president of business consulting services.
The team will study the genetic variations of the virus and responses from the host immune system, and develop methodologies to anticipate and contain the disease. Work is expected to begin immediately.