Georgia (Gina) Tourassi is the associate laboratory director for Computing and Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Tourassi has decades of research leadership leveraging AI, big data, and high-performance computing for scientific breakthroughs, most recently serving as the division director for the National Center for Computational Sciences and director of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF).
She has championed large-scale computing infrastructure projects and the enhancement of capabilities at ORNL. One example is the deployment of Frontier, the world’s first exascale computer. This effort required overcoming supply chain and workforce challenges to procure millions of components and to safely install 74 HPE Cray EX supercomputer cabinets.
As a result of her leadership, the OLCF can support a wider variety of sensitive research projects, which is unique within the Department of Energy (DOE) computing user facilities. Dr. Tourassi’s experience will allow her to strengthen collaborations with DOE, other federal agencies, and industry partners as we define the next generation of supercomputing for the nation. Dr. Tourassi has served as Director of OLCF and the National Center for Computational Sciences since 2019, leading 190 staff and overseeing an annual budget of $280 million. From 2016–2019, she was the Group Leader for Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, and Computing. In 2014, she became the founding Director of the Health Data Sciences Institute. Dr. Tourassi came to ORNL in 2011 as the Director of the Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Center. While at the Laboratory, she has also served as a University of Tennessee (UT)-ORNL Joint Faculty in the Bredesen Center; as a UT-ORNL Joint Professor in UT’s Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering; and as an Adjunct Professor of Radiology at UT and Duke University.
Before ORNL, Dr. Tourassi had a distinguished academic career at Duke for almost 20 years. It was during this time that she first leveraged cutting-edge computing and data capabilities for breakthroughs in medicine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Aristotle University in Greece and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Duke.
She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, SPIE (international society for optics and photonics), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2016, she won the Secretary’s Appreciation Award for her leadership of the DOE-National Cancer Institute interagency partnership focused on the advancement of cancer research with exascale computing. She was also part of three teams honored with Secretary’s Honor Awards, including two recognitions in 2021 for contributions to the COVID-19 response. Locally, she has been honored by the YWCA Knoxville for STEM mentorship of underrepresented groups.