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Research Highlight

DOE Leader Visits ORNL to Recognize CCSD, ITSD Staff Contributions to MVP-CHAMPION Program

Chief Scientist of the National Nuclear Security Administration, Dimitri Kusnezov, visited the Lab on Thursday, Sept. 27, to formally recognize the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) team that has supported the MVP-CHAMPION program since its 2016 inception. Dr. Kusnezov met with members of the Lab’s Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate (CCSD), Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) , National Security Sciences Directorate (NSSD), and Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate (EESD) on behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The MVP-CHAMPION program is a partnership between the DOE and the VA that works to advance the missions of both departments. The program evolved in 2017 to reflect DOE Secretary Rick Perry’s commitment to using technology to serve veterans, allowing the rethinking of traditional paradigms and facilitating novel approaches for driving high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence while developing solutions to priority topics related to caring for US veterans. Under this effort, joint teams analyze data provided by the VA, including health records and MVP genomic data from nearly 1 million veteran volunteers. ORNL leverages its big data analytics and HPC capabilities to produce sophisticated analyses that will improve the medical care of veterans and the US population by providing a deeper understanding of trends associated with individuals’ genomic, lifestyle, and medical histories. ORNL is the only facility housing VA data apart from the agency itself.

“I am thankful to the VA and the DOE for their support and partnership in developing and operationalizing one of the most exciting and promising precision medicine and privacy-preserving medical research platforms in existence,” Edmon Begoli, MVP-CHAMPION project principal investigator/chief data architect, said. He also praised ORNL team members, whose dedication has made this challenging initiative a success.

CCSD honorees included Jeremy Cohen, Marcia Branstetter, Blair Christian, Michael Galloway, Joe Lake, Seung-Hwan Lim, George Ostrouchov, Ryan Prout, Everett Rush, and Brian Zachary. ITSD honorees included Kris Torgerson, Franciel Linares, Bob Beane, Brett Ellis, Susan Hicks, and Dallas Sacca. Dan Jacobson of EESD and David Heise of NSSD were also honored.