“Enabling Biomedical Discoveries with Digital Data, Supercomputing and Visualization”

Dr. Patricia D. Hurn
Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, UT System

Dr. John (Jay) R. Boisseau
Director of TACC, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Matthew W. Vaughn
Manager of Life Sciences Computing Group, TACC, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. James A. Bankson
Associate professor in the Department of Imaging Physics, Division of Diagnostic Imaging at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Patricia Hurn

Jay Boisseau

James Bankson

Matt Vaughn

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
5:45 p.m. – Networking Reception
6:30 p.m. – Presentation

The UT Research Cyberinfrastructure Initiative (UTRC) is enabling research discoveries at the 15 UT System institutions, including six leading health science institutions. This multi-speaker presentation will discuss UTRC’s unique capabilities for computational research and will showcase how numerous biomedical scientists are making discoveries that will improve medicine and health care.


Patricia D. Hurn, Ph.D.
Dr. Hurn is Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at The University of Texas System located in Austin, Texas. She serves as the chief health research officer to UT System Administration and its six academic health center campuses. Her focus is on building collaborative models of bio-health research, creating innovative science education programs, and constructing technological systems and infrastructure for the mission of discovery.

In addition to her UT system leadership role, Dr. Hurn is an active neuroscientist internationally known for her work in understanding the cellular and molecular basis of gender differences in response to experimental brain injury. She is appointed as Research Professor in Neurobiology in the College of Natural Sciences of the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Hurn directs a translational laboratory that studies the role of hormone in post-stroke immunology, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Hurn holds a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Nursing, specializing in trauma and critical care. She earned a Ph.D. in Physiology in 1990 from The Johns Hopkins University, followed by postdoctoral training in biomedical engineering.

John (Jay) R. Boisseau, Ph.D.
Jay is the director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. Since founding TACC in 2001, it has become one of the leading advanced computing centers in the world. TACC develops, deploys, and operates high performance computing, scientific visualization, and massive data storage systems for open scientific research. Jay provides the vision and strategy that guide the overall resources & services, research & development, and education & outreach programs of TACC. He has expanded the computational resources to provide world-class capabilities, culminating in two of the largest NSF awards in UT Austin history: Stampede, to be deployed in January 2013, is valued at over $50 million with a peak performance 20 times more powerful than TACC’s current flagship system, Ranger, which marked the largest NSF award in UT Austin’s history at $59 million in 2007. He leads TACC’s NSF-funded HPC system projects and is one of the leaders in the NSF-funded eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) program for open science research. He is also instrumental in the University of Texas Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) Project, which is designed to enhance the 15 UT System institutions’ research programs by leveraging TACC’s advanced computing systems and expertise.

Boisseau earned a Ph.D. in Astronomy from The University of Texas at Austin in 1996.

Matthew W. Vaughn, Ph.D.
Dr. Vaughn is the manager of the life sciences computing group and a research associate in computational biology at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. A long-time participant in the iPlant Collaborative, Dr. Vaughn joined TACC in 2010 to help advance biologists’ access to high-performance computational systems and to information visualization technologies. Previously, Dr. Vaughn worked at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where he specialized in computational biology and bioinformatics pertaining to epigenetic gene regulation and genome organization. He received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

James A. Bankson, Ph.D.
Dr. Bankson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Imaging Physics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He leads the Magnetic Resonance Engineering Laboratory and serves as Deputy Director of the institutional Small Animal Imaging Facility. His research interests focus on the advancement of health care through advanced imaging and signal analysis. Jim enjoys close collaboration with physician/scientists, radiologists, oncologists, and basic cancer researchers to explore new opportunities and identify critical needs to ensure that imaging science advances alongside novel therapeutic approaches to improve the next generation of clinical care. He believes that imaging will play an important role in fundamental cancer research, optimization of new therapies, and ultimately, the quality of care and outcome for those touched by cancer.

Dr. Bankson earned a Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and received postdoctoral training in experimental biomedical imaging at UT MDACC.