Big Data, Big Computation and the Genomic Jigsaw Puzzle


The second video in our series profiling MGHPCC seed fund collaborations
by Helen Hill

The human genome is made up of 3 billion base pairs. Reading the genome from a modern, high-speed sequencer is a lot like doing a big jigsaw puzzle. Computer Scientist, Assistant Professor Yanlei Diao (UMass Amherst) is leading a multi institution collaboration to develop next-generation, on-demand big computation services for managing and processing these massive amounts of genomic information.

Working with Li-Jun Ma, Assistant Professor in Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences (UMass Amherst), Professor Samuel Madden (MIT), Bai-Lin Wu (Harvard and Children’s Hospital), Toby Bloom (the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT), and James F. Gusella (Massachusetts General Hospital), Diao’s project was one of 7 to receive seed funding, in the first round of such awards from the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Consortium in 2011.

In this video members of the team share the science behind their work, what each brings to the project as well as what harnessing high performance computing could bring to genomics, epigenomics and human health.

Thanks to the staff of the Genetics Diagnostic Lab at Children’s Hospital, Boston for their help in making this video.