OCRA Partners with Microsoft’s AI for Health Initiative

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Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA) is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking partnership with Microsoft’s AI for Health initiative. This unique collaboration will help OCRA accelerate ovarian cancer research by harnessing the power of data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

With the support of Microsoft’s AI for Health initiative, a $60 million, five-year program, select OCRA grantees can utilize Microsoft’s AI Lab and computing platform to tackle new and innovative directions and accelerate ovarian cancer research to improve the health of people around the world. This will offer OCRA grantees the opportunity to use Microsoft’s data science expertise and cloud computing power to accelerate progress against ovarian cancer. 

The power of partnership

OCRA grantees are doing important work such as exploring new ovarian cancer treatments, underlying causes, and how the human body wards off malignant cells. While research moves our collective understanding forward, it can sometimes move slowly—even the most highly skilled and brilliant researcher is still limited by being human. But with the power of AI, researchers can utilize a giant ecosystem of data to see patterns and relationships invisible to the human eye. AI takes in large amounts of raw data from a number of sources, and then analyzes it in novel ways. Researchers can select thousands of different combinations of factors to find correlations, potentially leading to new insights into the disease. 

“I cannot overstate the optimism we feel,” said Audra Moran, President and CEO of OCRA. “As we have seen AI accelerate science in other diseases, we are thrilled to offer the full power of Microsoft’s world-class AI lab to OCRA grantees. As partners, our shared goal is to move the science forward faster and ultimately prevent ovarian cancer.”

Leveraging AI to fight ovarian cancer

OCRA announced its call for 2021 grant applications this past June, and for the first time, offered scientists applying for Collaborative Research Development Grants the opportunity to utilize the powerful resources from Microsoft’s AI for Health. Applications were received from researchers who have never applied for OCRA grants, creating an opportunity for advancement from new sources and fields.

More information about the OCRA researchers working with Microsoft’s AI for Health as well as their impact will be shared in the months to come. 

AI for Health is the fifth Microsoft AI for Good program, a $165 million initiative to empower researchers, nonprofits and organizations with advanced technologies to help unlock solutions to the biggest challenges facing society today.

Posted on in OCRA News, Research