Genomics Researchers Imagine Their Ideal Computer

Still Hunting Medical Triumphs, Genomics Experts Turn to the IT Department 1

Kristen Schmid for The Chronicle

Steven Lumetta is an associate professor of computer engineering at the U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and leads CompGen, a group of academic and corporate researchers studying genomics computing.

After 25 years of breakthroughs and $14-billion in federal support, the revolution in genomics—and all its promises of miracle cures—is now firmly in the hands of the computer geeks.

On one level, the effort to sequence the human genome has already been a smashing success. The first genome was decoded in 2003, two years ahead of schedule. Subsequent technological gains now allow patients to have their genomes read for just a few thousand dollars apiece.