Engaging the world in problem solving

In 2004, IBM joined forces with leading science, education and philanthropic organizations worldwide to create the largest public humanitarian grid in existence. Since then, World Community Grid has been used for research to address such pressing global issues as clean energy, world hunger, cancer, dengue fever, and the H1N1 and HIV/AIDS viruses.

In March 2009, IBM and researchers from the Chiba Cancer Research Institute in Japan launched a new World Community Grid project to discover a treatment for neuroblastoma, the most common cause of death in children with solid tumors—with survival rates of less than 40 percent. The project will try to identify which of the three million potential drug candidates prohibit growth of three proteins believed to be key in the progression of the cancer. All results will be made available to the general scientific community to advance cancer biology and drug discovery. Dr. Akira Nakagawara, from the Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute says, “It would take us about 100 years using our own computing resources to make progress, but with access to one of the world’s largest virtual supercomputers, we estimate to complete this project in two years.”

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