IBM said the first quantum computer in healthcare, expected to be finished in early 2023, is a significant component of the two institutions’ ten-year collaboration aimed at radically increasing the pace of biological research through high-performance computing.
The Cleveland Clinic-IBM Discovery Accelerator, which was announced in 2021, is a cooperative centre that combines Cleveland Clinic’s medical expertise with IBM’s technical skills, particularly its leadership in quantum computing.
“The current pace of scientific discovery is unacceptably slow, while our research needs are growing exponentially. We cannot afford to continue to spend a decade or more going from a research idea in a lab to therapies on the market. Quantum offers a future to transform this pace, particularly in drug discovery and machine learning,” Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Research Information Officer Lara Jehi, M.D. said.
IBM Research-Cleveland Clinic Partnership Director Dr Ruoyi Zhou stated that a paradigm shift in how scientific challenges are handled is on the horizon.
“At IBM, we’re more motivated than ever to create with Cleveland Clinic and others lasting communities of discovery and harness the power of quantum computing, AI and hybrid cloud to usher in a new era of accelerated discovery in healthcare and life sciences,” Dr Zhou added.
The Cleveland Clinic Discovery Accelerator is based on several of IBM’s most recent advances in high-performance computing, including:
- Generative Toolkit for Scientific Discovery, as well as other generative modelling capabilities that use AI to detect knowledge gaps and develop hypotheses, with the ultimate goal of speeding up the research process in medicines and biomarker discovery;
- RXN is a cloud-based platform that combines AI models with the ability to run robotic labs directly to enable end-to-end design and synthesis of new chemical substances;
- Deep Search, a next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technique for extracting insights from enormous amounts of structured and unstructured technical literature; and
- High-Performance Hybrid Cloud Computing solutions that allow researchers to “burst” their workloads into the cloud and access the resources they require on a large scale.
The Cleveland Clinic’s Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health, which is part of the Cleveland Innovation District, is also supported by the Discovery Accelerator. The centre, funded by the state of Ohio, Jobs Ohio, and the Cleveland Clinic, brings together a team dedicated to investigating, preparing for, and guarding against new pathogens and virus-related disorders. Researchers use modern computational technology through Discovery Accelerator to accelerate essential research on medicines and vaccines.
According to IBM, the teams have already initiated several collaborative initiatives that will benefit from the increased computational capabilities. A research study developing a quantum computing method to screen and optimise drugs that target particular proteins; enhancing a prediction model for cardiovascular risk following non-cardiac surgery; and using AI to search genome sequencing findings and large drug-target databases for efficient, existing drugs that could assist patients with Alzheimer’s and other diseases are among the Discovery Accelerator projects.
A vital component of the relationship is focusing on educating tomorrow’s workforce and creating jobs to help the economy flourish. An innovative educational curriculum has been developed for participants ranging from high school to professional level, providing training and certification programs in data science, machine learning, and quantum computing to develop the skilled workforce required for future cutting-edge computational research.