OSWEGO (WSYR-TV) – From a small office on the SUNY Oswego campus, assistant professor Dr. Sungeun Kim is developing a tool to connect the dots between Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
But, he’s not a medical doctor…he’s a computer engineer.
“The size of the data is enormous. So, sometimes we compare it to finding the needle in the haystack,” he explains.
For years, doctors scattered across the country have analyzed pieces of information from patients including DNA tests, brain imaging, and their diet.
“Right now people are using this data one by one,” Dr. Kim adds.
Medical researchers would like a shortcut, allowing them to quickly compare multiple test results from a larger pool of people, both with and without neurodegenerative diseases.
They hope more data will reveal what patients have in common and how they differ. The goal is to figure out a way to diagnose the diseases early and improve treatment methods.
“If it takes 10-years, 20-years, decades, then what does that mean? We want to tackle that problem as soon as possible. That is our task.”
First, Doctor Kim says researchers need a “supercomputer” and tools that can handle the load of all that big clinical data.
With a nearly $119,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Kim is using his…