A research collaboration (with the Scripps Research Institute) with the objective to anticipate, manage and contain infectious diseases. The project uses the capabilities of supercomputing in IBM’s Blue Gene with computational biology algorithms, biopatterning and microfluidics research, along with Scripps’s knowledge of biochemical modeling and drug discovery.
In the simplest terms, Project Checkmate is using advanced computing to determine the most likely, most infectious, and most lethal mutations the H5N1 virus might undergo, and then to help determine the best vaccine against such mutations. It represents a “first” for the fields of epidemiology and infectious diseases, since all previous vaccines have been created to combat existing, rather than expected, virus mutations, often with a “wait-and-see” approach which produces and deploys the vaccine often before knowing with any certainty whether that particular mutation will, in fact, turn out to be the most lethal and transmissible.
Project Checkmate, on the other hand, could provide much-needed information about the avian flu virus’s future state before it has reached that state—which could even allow pharmaceutical manufacturers to have a vaccine ready in time to head off what might otherwise become a deadly global bird flu pandemic.
IBM - The race against bird flu