My colleagues at Microsoft Research asked me to spread the word about an announcement they made on Monday during their External Research & Program’s Faculty Summit. Faculty Summit is the premier event hosted by ER&P for academic researchers and professors to meet with Microsoft researchers and product group engineers for in-depth presentations and discussions of computing problems and research trends. The conference brings together approximately 350 academics from 175 leading institutions worldwide.
During the Summit, Microsoft Research outlined the research agenda for the next year by announcing 11 new RFPs. These are research grants open to anyone, two of which focus on healthcare (outlined below).
Cell Phone as a Platform for Healthcare
· Explore applications and evolution of the cell phone for healthcare services.
· Incubate, develop, and disseminate to the worldwide academic research community new healthcare services prototypes and mobile technology tools.
Solution Statement: What medical applications are relevant, worldwide, for ‘smart’ mobile phones (application and web-enabled) in rural, and urban, communities? What are the appropriate services and infrastructures to be created to provide affordable and accessible healthcare services?
Personalized Medicine: Improving Genome-Wide Association Studies
Goal: Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) is an area that would greatly benefit from having computing improvements for researchers. Focus areas for improvement include:
• Improvement of HapMap (tools for data collection, etc.)
• Standardization of genetic data collection, semantics and DB schema
• Improvement of Algorithms (particularly for in multi-allele disorders) accuracy, performance (e.g., parallelization, HPC)
• Genomic Data Visualization
Solution Statement: Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) are defined by the NIH as any study of genetic variation across the entire human genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight), or the presence or absence of a disease or condition. GWAS are laying the groundwork for personalized medicine. What is needed to put this data as quickly as possible into the hands of a broad number of researchers so that they can advance the state of the art in this area.
If you’re interested in any more detail, please contact Kristin Tolle firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s your chance to help change the world in healthcare.
Bill Crounse, MD Worldwide Health Director Microsoft Corporation