Making a Difference at Mellanox

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Recently, while reflecting upon my one year anniversary with Mellanox, I realized how this company I have grown to care for in such a short time is not only a great interconnect company, but how it is also so much more.  In so many ways, our products continue to change the world and make it a better place.  This Saturday, Mellanox will be participating in a local charity event that I hold near and dear to my heart; HERs Breast Cancer Foundation’s “People With Purpose”. This is local Silicon Valley charity supports women that are healing from breast cancer by providing post-surgical products and services regardless of their financial status. Not only has Mellanox become a supporter and contributor to HERs, I also realized that our networking products and solutions are driving research that we hope will ultimately cure many diseases, cancer included.  If one considers that one in eight women in the U.S. will battle breast cancer in their lifetime (and that number is much higher in the Bay Area), this is truly a worthy cause.

And we continue to push the boundaries of technology to do so much more for efforts just like this.

Stanford, for example, is making great progress in the area of immunotherapy for curing cancer. Mellanox is very proud to support the HPCAC Advisory Council along with Stanford to provide an annual event that focuses on HPC, Artificial Intelligence and other advancements with technology that we believe will ultimately be that fast track to the very research that may one day help cure cancer. Stanford is a world leading cancer research institution and their Cancer Immunotherapy Program is finding new ways to harness the immune system to fight cancer. The program includes physician scientists working across multiple cancer types to develop innovative treatments and delivery mechanisms with the potential to provide durable, robust cancer immune responses. And their efforts are making progress: patient-specific vaccines and cell-based therapies that incite a patient’s own immune defenses to attack cancer; new targets for today’s therapeutic monoclonal antibodies; and the potential of cytokines and other effector molecules as therapeutic agents.

Another industry partner, NVIDIA, has teamed with the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and several national laboratories on an initiative to accelerate cancer research with their power supercomputer based on the DGX-1 design, known as “SATURN-V”.  The initiative — known as the Cancer Moonshot — aims to deliver a decade of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment in just five years. The research efforts include a focus on building an Artificial Intelligence framework called CANDLE (Cancer Distributed Learning Environment), which will provide a common discovery platform that brings the power of AI to the fight against cancer.  And best of all?  Mellanox delivers the high performance interconnect for the “SATURN-V” system. We are humbled and proud to be a part of the technology that we are providing from our HPC product line that is able to pipe the amount of data this system can ingest and egress.

Another great project is our work with Dell and TGen to tackle pediatric cancer head on.  Previously, an individual patient’s RNA analysis took seven days.  Along with TGen and Dell, we had the modest goal to try and reduce that to five days knowing that with children in particular, even a day could mean the difference between death and survival. Well, Mellanox’s InfiniBand reduced the RNA-Sequence data analysis time for patients to only one hour! From seven excruciating days to just one hour. This accomplishment is at the heart of how Mellanox technology is going to help crush pediatric cancer.

Shortly before I joined Mellanox, the Company announced that the HPC4Health Consortium, led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the University Health Network’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, selected our InfiniBand interconnect solutions to improve patient care and help researchers to optimize treatment with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for cancer. InfiniBand adopted as the foundation of the center’s cancer and genomics program, to accelerate the sharing, processing and analysis of data generated from radiology imaging, medical imaging analysis, protein folding, x-ray diffraction in order to improve patient care and expedite cancer research.

And the good work doesn’t end there. Just last week, led by researchers from The Center for Genome Architecture (TC4GA) at Baylor College of Medicine, it was announced that they were using technologies from IBM, Mellanox and NVIDIA to assemble the 1.2 billion letter genome of the Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, which carries West Nile virus. The new genome can help enable scientists to better combat West Nile virus by identifying vulnerabilities in the mosquito that the virus uses to spread.

All of this illustrates that Mellanox has a long and successful history of developing industry-leading interconnect technology that enables the world’s fastest supercomputers to solve some of the most complex problems. I think Gilad Shainer, our vice president of marketing, summed up our work with Baylor College of Medicine most eloquently: “Our collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine to get VOLTRON fully operational and its groundbreaking results in genome assembly will help provide the most efficient platform to enhance research and future product development. Today, scalable compute and storage systems suffer from data bottlenecks that limit research, product development and constrain application services. With high performance computing, combined with lightning fast Mellanox interconnect technology, we overcome bottlenecks in the transfer of data from storage and the file system to the compute cluster, as well as RDMA to avoid multiple copies of the sequencing data, will help lead the way toward making such genomic assembly and analysis mainstream.”

So this brings us full circle to HERs. On April 1st, 6:00 p.m., HERs will host its 2nd Annual “Pink Tie Gala” at the Castlewood Country Club, in Pleasanton; an elegant evening event celebrating “People With Purpose”.  You can still sign up to attend this worthy event or even contribute as a virtual attendee: If you do attend, I encourage you to stop by the Mellanox table and meet some of our great employees who are, like all of Mellanox, determined to make a difference and with our amazing technology, which is changing the world for the better.


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About Julie M. Dibene

Julieanne DiBene is the Senior Director of Marketing Communications at Mellanox. Prior to this, she was the Director of Marketing Communications with Micrel Inc., a semiconductor manufacturer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from San Jose State University.

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