Success Stories

Diet and Disease

Dr. Cheng Zheng, assistant professor of Biostatistics at the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health has run simulations on the Meadows HTCondor grid in recent months that would have taken many years on the most powerful workstations available today.  These simulations aim to provide evidence of connections between diet and various diseases.

“We are trying to discover an objective biomarker from high-dimensional metabolomics to predict dietary intakes and use the prediction to correct the self-reported dietary intake from survey data, which will allow us to better assess how the different dietary components are related to the development of various diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity). To make sure the discovered biomarker is real signal and to increase transportability, we need to control the false discovery rate (FDR).  Simulations run on the Meadows HTCondor grid are used to evaluate whether a novel statistical method can achieve FDR control with enough power to detect real signals.”

Warfarin Efficacy and Risk

John Weissert and Marcus Walz, working with professor Peter Tonellato, also with the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, have been using the HTCondor grid to study the cardiovascular drug warfarin:

“HTCondor provides a stable computational platform for our lab, the Lab of Public Health Informatics and Genomics, to conduct large scale simulated clinical trials for the common prescription drug warfarin. Warfarin is the most commonly prescribed oral anticoagulant in the United States, with nearly 31 million prescriptions filled in 2004 . Over 40 years of clinical research demonstrates warfarin’s efficacy for treating a range of cardiovascular diseases. However, there remain distinct challenges in administering warfarin treatment, such as a 20 fold interindividual variation in therapeutic dose, and a narrow therapeutic range. As a result, warfarin oral anticoagulation therapy was the number one cause of drug induced mortality in the United States as of 2004. With the power and stability of HTCondor, we are conducting a range of experiments to personalize warfarin therapy for demographically and genetically diverse populations both in Milwaukee and around the world.”