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IBM Announces Life Sciences Institutes of Innovation Program

Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University Are First Honored

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SOMERS, NY - 26 Jun 2003: IBM today launched the IBM Life Sciences Institutes of Innovation program. This global initiative recognizes academic research institutions that are making outstanding contributions to life sciences research and fosters knowledge and technology transfer in the life sciences community. The first universities selected are Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University.

As Institutes of Innovation, researchers at the two universities will collaborate with IBM on life sciences research projects of mutual interest. In addition, they are eligible for a range of benefits to support this research, including early access to next-generation IBM technologies, post-doctoral and research associate opportunities, software through the IBM Scholars university product portal, and participation in the competition for IBM's university award programs.

"Many academic research institutions are doing ground-breaking work in life sciences," said Carol Kovac, Ph.D., general manager, IBM Life Sciences. "Indiana and Johns Hopkins are using IBM technologies to push forward the frontiers of biomedical research. The new Institutes of Innovation program honors their accomplishments with additional IBM resources and support to help them go even faster in their quest for new knowledge. Ultimately their work may lead to improved healthcare and new ways of preventing and treating human disease."

Program Details
The IBM Life Sciences Institutes of Innovation program differs from initiatives by other companies in that it is project-focused and represents a multi-year commitment. It offers a comprehensive package of benefits, ranging from technical support and IBM-funded research assistantships to funding for project reports, conference participation, joint R&D projects, and assistance with external funding applications.

Universities and other nonprofit research organizations that have collaborative relationships with IBM Life Sciences and use IBM technologies to support their research can be considered for the Institutes of Innovation program.

Among other criteria:

Champions of Biomedical Research
At Johns Hopkins University, researchers at the Center for Cardiovascular Bioinformatics and Modeling are applying IBM technology to develop multi-scale computational models ranging from the genome and proteome to single cells and the whole heart. These models are helping researchers discover how genes and proteins interact to influence heart disease. This molecular understanding of the origins of heart disease -- the leading cause of deaths in the U.S. -- could help drug makers identify new, more effective treatments for heart-related illnesses.

The research focus at Indiana University (IU), under the Institutes of Innovation program, will be on 3-D modeling of cells. Through the use of parallel and Grid computing, IU researchers will create a computer-based simulator of living cells. The project also will utilize genomic, proteomic, and cell physiological data to model metabolic processes. This is of particular importance in drug discovery and targeted treatment solutions.

IU is also building a powerful information system at its School of Medicine that could transform the way researchers investigate the origins of disease. The system will enable researchers to access a wealth of collective knowledge about genes and proteins in their search to understand and combat the sources of disease and dysfunction.

IBM History of Educational Support
The IBM Life Sciences Institutes of Innovation initiative extends IBM's strong support programs for academic collaborations. In 2002, IBM invested more than $38 million on programs such as the IBM Shared University Research (SUR) Awards and the Eclipse Innovation Awards, in addition to a wide range of software provided at no charge through the IBM Scholars university portal for faculty.

IBM's Shared University Research program supports approximately 50 awards of computing equipment to colleges, universities and institutions of higher education around the world to facilitate research projects. These SUR awards also connect top researchers in academia with IBM Research personnel and technical representatives from IBM product development and solution provider communities.

Through the IBM Scholars Program, IBM has delivered over 15,000 software products and resources to members free of charge reaching students internationally. The IBM Scholars Program has enrolled more that 4,000 faculty members and researchers at 2,000-plus institutions. The Eclipse Innovation Awards support innovative research and curriculum development undertaken by faculty who use the open source Eclipse tools.

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