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Discovery of Chemotherapeutic Co-Medication Properties for Multidrug Resistant Cancer

A Minecraft Crowdsourcing Project 

This project uses crowdsourcing and game-based volunteer distributed computing via Minecraft to identify properties for co-medications that improve the effectiveness of chemotherapeutics to treat multi-drug resistant cancers. Instrumental researchers include SMU Guildhall Deputy Director of Research, Dr. Corey Clark, and biochemistry professors Pia Vogel and John Wise of the Center for Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery (CD4) at the SMU Dedman College Department of Biological Sciences.

While performing standard gameplay actions in Minecraft, players partition co-medications into two cluster types: (a) positive, or improved the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic response, and (b) negative, or no effect on the chemotherapeutic response. Identifying the properties of these clusters will help Vogel and Wise to identify new co-medications candidates out of the millions of compounds available. The co-medication data sets are supplied to both Minecraft clients and servers through the BALANCED Media | Technology HEWMEN Java integration, which allows modders to visualize and manipulate co-medication data directly in Minecraft.  Modders, led by FTB and SMU Guildhall, will then build custom Minecraft gameplay systems that will be included into upcoming FTB modpack releases. Each player’s interaction with these modpacks simultaneously clusters co-medications, but also supplies a training input into a deep neural network (DNN) that is learning and mapping the solution space. 

Dr. Clark and his team at SMU Guildhall are developing the distributed DNN for the HEWMEN game-based volunteer grid computing platform, which integrates directly with the Minecraft modpacks.

 SMU Guildhall faculty Corey Clark joins cancer research initiative


Learn More  |  Minecraft Research in the News:

Research Profile; SMU News

KERA Audio Feature