Impacting Cancer with HPC: Opportunities and Challenges
Authors: Dr. Eric Stahlberg (Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research)
Abstract: High-performance computing and HPC technologies have long been employed in multiple roles in cancer research and clinical applications. The importance of HPC in medical applications has been highlighted within the National Strategic Computing Initiative, several activities associated with the US Cancer Moonshot effort and collaborations between the US National Cancer Institute and the Department of Energy. This BoF session will focus on bringing together those with an interest in furthering the impact of HPC on cancer, providing overviews of application areas and technologies, opportunities and challenges, while providing for in-depth interactive discussion across interest areas.
Long Description: Cancer is a disease that touches us all. As the importance of HPC and HPC technologies has grown in medical applications, underscored by the recent announcement of the NSCI initiative in 2015, the National Cancer Moonshot initiative in 2016 and multiple activities involving large scale data and high-performance computing. it is important to convene the community to increasingly share insight and expertise with a specific focus on cancer. The session aims to bring together those in the HPC field who have an interest in understanding and expanding the impact that HPC can have on cancer.
The BoF is being organized to provide a framework for extending the learning and awareness about the significant role HPC has in fighting and treating cancer, both in specific domains and across many available technologies. The need to convene across technology domains is essential since both simulation and big data are key to making progress on this disease. Multiple HPC technologies used significantly in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and validation. The need for HPC in cancer precision medicine has become central to efforts in predictive oncology, data sharing, more rapid treatment identification, and rapid diagnosis. Recent announcements at the June 2016 Cancer Moonshot underscore the current significant role for HPC with utilization expected to grow in the future as the ability to gather, integrate and analyze data join with the simulation capabilities of tomorrow’s exascale systems.
The first BoF at SC15 was attended by more than 80 participants from across the HPC and scientific fields with an interest in building collaborations, gaining insight into shared challenges, and seeking new opportunities to contribute to advances in overcoming cancer. When asked, the attendees enthusiastically responded to having the session again at SC16.
Represented areas in the SC15 BoF session included: HPC machine learning, bioinformatics, parallel programming, big data, computer systems architecture, FPGAs, physics, biomedicine, virology, GPU computing, computational physics, pattern recognition, software development, aerospace/CFD, crystallography, mathematics, storage, computer science, structural biology, IT infrastructure, protein structure, visualization, systems biology
Background and specific examples about the use of HPC technology in cancer applications, will provide the common basis for discussion in the BoF. To provide a rapid overview of the broad domain, presenters will provide insight into the various ways specific technologies are being used in cancer applications, while also presenting across a range of technologies used in specific cancer areas.
Discussions among attendees will be fostered with time for communities with common interests to convene with individual presenters for questions and answers.
Key challenges and opportunities will be shared with all attendees.
Results from the earlier workshop on Computational Approaches for Cancer will also be shared with the attendees, to seed discussion, innovation and collaboration for a future cancer-oriented workshops in future SC conferences.
Conference Presentation: pdf
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