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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Breaking Down Barriers to Reaching Breakthroughs – Harvard Gazette

“We’re going to have to teach computational science to neurologists and mathematics to biologists,” said Bernardo Sabatini, co-director of the Kempner Institute and Alice Anderson of Biology at Harvard Medical School’s Bravatnik Institute. Professor Rodman W. Moorhead III says: “These are all nascent fields. Students can go from basic research to fundamental discoveries in less than a year.”

“We are witnessing a new phase of scientific discovery,” added Sharm M. Kakade, co-director of Kempner, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Statistics. . The purpose of the institute is to “bring together communities with different life experiences, and bring together communities with different perspectives.

“We want to develop the next generation of leaders,” said Kakade, adding, “It’s good to speculate on some of the progress we might make and some of the challenges we might tackle. I can do it,” he said.

Several panel discussions explored how such interdisciplinary research, especially the interplay between AI and biological research, is already spurring breakthroughs.

Of the convergence of these fields, Sandeep Robert Dutta, professor of neurobiology at the Bravatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School, recalled the turmoil when COVID hit in March 2020. In mice, he began hearing how this new virus was making people lose their sense of smell.

The pandemic’s forced shutdown meant that his regular research was curtailed indefinitely, but he said, “With the tools of machine learning, we can understand how this happened and what the virus did to the brain.” I realized that I could know what I was doing,” says Datta. “On the spot, we were able to analyze this incredibly complex data with AI.” A far cry from his original hypothesis and original research, enabled by AI, he was already breaking new ground.

A series of celebrities include Stephen Quake, CZI’s head of science; Microsoft founder Bill Gates ’77, LL.D. ’07; and former Google CEO and chairman Eric Schmidt. Amazon President and CEO Andy Jassy ’90, MBA ’97.

Unique approach and special history

Introducing the lab, named after Zuckerberg’s psychiatrist mother, Karen Kempner, and his maternal grandparents, Gertrude and Sidney Kempner, Zuckerberg said: (Former teacher Gertrude Kempner was in attendance.) Zuckerberg said his mother “was dedicated to empowering all children.” “It supported us and taught us that challenging things are worth doing well.” His goal is for their namesake institute to “advance discoveries about the mind and the intellect.” he said.

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