Developed by University of Louisville Entrepreneurship program student, Brian Gupton, the non-profit organization, Datasteam, helps discover new cancer drugs as well as provides technology for in coal county schools. The cancer drug research and development is part of an initiative that includes over 14,000 classroom computers that when not being used by students will match coal sites with cancer treating molecules that can be used for treating cancers. Development of cancer treating molecules calls for a large number of computers and a supercomputer to perform complex computing. Dr. John Trent, director of research at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center says, “Drug discovery itself usually takes anything from about five to 20 years, we can do it in a few months now.”
As a student and the son of a Western Kentucky coal miner, Brian Gupton came up with the idea of Dataseam to battle cancer. Since the State of Kentucky has the highest cancer dead rate in the nation, Kentucky is the ideal state to conduct cancer research and development. Gupton addressed his idea with state representatives and was given a $1.9 million grant in 2005 set aside for the development of coal regions from the Cabinet for Economic Development. Since 2005, the Dataseam initiative has received $2.5 million annual funding.
Researchers at Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center make trips to schools with the Dataseam labs and talk to students about cancer research work. The schools in turn take field trips to the James Graham Brown cancer research center.
The University of Louisville is would normally need $4 million to fund the cancer research project. The project costs the university nothing now that it is funded by a state grant through Dataseam. University of Louisville president, John Ramsey state, “It’s good for the schools, it’s good for the University of Louisville and it’s good for cancer patients…”
The Dataseam research projects have set up school research computer labs in 54 Kentucky coal mine counties schools. The schools sow the benefits of the Dataseam initiative by offering teacher training in Apple certifications. Dataseam offers teachers a desktop iMac computer for their own desk for going through the training. Around 6000 teachers have completed Apple certification training. Lawrence County schools were given 600 new iMacs by Dataseam. Clay County schools have received 500 new iMacs. Whitley county schools purchased 30 MacBook Pro laptops, which was matched with 30 additional MacBook Pro laptops by DataSeam. Whitley County has a total of 358 iMac computers from Dataseam.
Reference article from the Courier-Journal