NIH’s HubMAP Hackathon Offers $50000 to Hack the Human Kidney

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The Digital Innovation Virtual Conference 2020 by InnovationDigi, features an impressive hackathon titled, “Hacking the Kidney.” The hackathon is designed to advance HubMAP (Human BioMolecular Atlas Program), an initiative of the National Institute of Health to map the human body at a single cell and functional tissue unit resolution for the first time in history. Key sponsors include Google, Deloitte, Roche, CAS, Pistoia Alliance, and Maven Wave.

HubMAP is scheduled for November 5, 2020, to be launched between 2.30-3.15 pm EST during a panel by CELLSINTECH. The panel moderated by Sr. Director at Eli Lilly and Company, Andrea DeSouza, has in panel Program Leader from NIH, Dr. Richard Conroy; Principal Research Scientist at Lilly Research Labs, Boyd Steere; Senior Director, Product Management, Data Sciences Platform at Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard, Claire Bernard; and AI & Cloud CTO at Google, Scott Penberthy.

The HuBMAP Hackathon aims to advance the detection of functional tissue units (FTUs) across different tissue preparation pipelines. An FTU is a “three-dimensional block of cells centered around a capillary, such that each cell in this block is within diffusion distance from any other cell in the same block.” There are 1 million glomeruli in each human kidney. The goal of this hackathon is the implementation of a successful and robust glomeruli FTU detector. The data used in HuBMAP includes 11 fresh frozen and 9 Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) PAS kidney images. 

Now the exciting part is the task. Teams are invited to develop segmentation algorithms that identify glomeruli in the PAS stained microscopy data. They are welcome to use other external data and/or pre-trained machine learning models to support Functional Tissue Unit segmentation. All data and all code used must be released under Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). 

If the task is so exciting, imagine the source of recognition and the prize. The panel of jury comprises 12 extremely influential personalities from research and scientific practices from titan organizations. And the prize-money shoots up to $50000, which, if desired, winning teams may choose to donate to a charity foundation. To know more about the event-timeline, people at the helm of exceptional support and organization, please visit the site

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