Friday, April 12, 2013

Using electricity to get the blood pumping

Time=Lives Story of the Week - Fred Streitz

As director of the Institute for Scientific Computing Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and director of the High Performance Computing Innovation Center, the technology Fred Streitz is working on everyday has the potential to save lives. Through the use of high performance computers, Fred and his team have developed a new code called Cardioid, which mimics the electrical currents that naturally make the muscles of the heart pump blood throughout the body.
Watch Fred's Time=Lives story here.

We met up with Fred at last fall’s Partnering for Cures when he presented Lawrence Livermore’s collaboration with IBM Research and learned more about its opportunities for biotech and pharmaceutical companies that offer on-demand access to computation expertise running on high-performance computers.
Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory took on this project to saves the lives of those with heart arrhythmias and other heart complications. When the natural electrical system within the heart malfunctions, it can cause an arrhythmia where blood flows irregularly to the body. As a result, more than 325,000 people die each year in the U.S. from this condition.

Fred, who earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Physics from Harvey Mudd College, is a leader in High performance computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which specializes in combining advanced science with biomedical research in an effort to strengthen national security and contribute to the major medical issues facing the US. “People’s lives are at stake,” said Fred. “Every time a cure doesn’t work, or a cure gets delayed for lack of funding, experience, or scientific background, those are lives that are at stake.”

Fred’s work at Lawrence Livermore is a great example of the power of technology and innovation to change the healthcare and medical research industries. Just last week, President Obama announced his support for BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) a radical national initiative which allows us to "better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember," said the president. Additionally, the promise of whole genome sequencing is also leading to rapid new discoveries enabled by a decrease in cost and increase in availability.

Check out more stories from researchers like Fred on Time=Lives.

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