Arizona State University Adopts Hortonworks Data Platform to further cancer research
Arizona State University (ASU) is using Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) to further cancer research. With HDP, ASU researchers have the tools they need to store, process, and query more data at a faster pace, allowing researchers to ask better questions and uncover new links between genetics and cancer.
ASU, the largest public university by enrollment in the United States, has put an emphasis on innovative approaches to research such as with its Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative (CASI). CASI’s research mission is to develop and promote entirely new technologies and novel solutions to complex global challenges in health, sustainability, security and education. As part of this mission, CASI researchers are looking to genomics to better understand and solve the complex problem of cancer.
Each individual’s genome consists of 20,000 genes and millions variable DNA locations. This translates to tens of billions rows of calculated data and a significant Big Data challenge. By using HDP, ASU researchers are able to better understand how each variant in a genome might influence an individual’s cancer risks and response to treatments.
CASI’s strategy of Hadoop adoption follows with President Obama’s “National Cancer Moonshot” policy that encourages sharing data to generate new ideas and new breakthroughs. The Hortonworks platform installed in the Research Computing center at ASU currently stores more than a petabyte of genomic data from multiple studies involving over 500 individuals. Researchers from five different teams access this genomic data lake to query data and answer cancer research questions, including why some people get cancer and others do not.
“Our genome database is simply unapproachable with traditional technology,” said Dr. Kenneth Buetow, director of Computational Sciences and Informatics for CASI. “With HDP, we are able to explore questions we simply couldn’t before by having both the availability of data and the technical capability to analyze it. It has also sped our time to insight enormously, returning results in seconds. Hadoop has the capacity to transform biomedicine.”
“We are thrilled to work with Arizona State University as a customer and we look forward to supporting their work to discover the genetic links to cancer,” said Herb Cunitz, president of Hortonworks. “Hortonworks is dedicated to supporting the broader community of university researchers and teaching hospitals that are using our company’s Connected Data Platforms to understand and treat the most dangerous diseases.”