While walking up the stairs in my house, I saw my brother Mike’s door was propped open. I popped my head in to see how he was doing. Talking with him, we happened upon the topic of illness. “My throat has been so sore that it hurts even to swallow. I wouldn’t mind the cough otherwise.”
One of my earliest memories is of being five or six and having my father, a spicy food fanatic, make me eat one of the dried chilis that comes in kung pao chicken. That was the day I learned that the best antidote to a mouth on fire is not water or even milk, but mouthfuls of plain, steamed white rice. It was also the beginning of my own descent into what my mother felt was madness. From then on, my dad and I were like a cult, only instead of a god we worshipped capsaicin. We went to fancy hot sauce stores on vacation.
Raised in a crowded, barely middle-class Somalian home, Cornell physician-scientist Prof. Said Ibrahim never thought being a doctor was in the cards for him. “Medical school was reserved for wealthy elites,” he previously said, noting that his family was sustained only by his father’s income of about $50 a month.
Virus outbreaks are nothing new: in just the past 10 years, the world has been plagued with the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 and a resurgence of the Ebola virus from 2014 to 2016 — and it seems like such epidemics will continue for years to come.
Which begs the question, can scientists predict if, and when, we will see another new virus strike within the next several years?
Medicine and artificial intelligence are ever-evolving fields at the forefront of scientific discovery. A new Cornell research group — Machine Learning in Medicine — aims to coalesce the two, with the goal of improving methods for disease detection and diagnosis. This endeavor is a collaboration between faculty at Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medicine, bringing together “researchers with common interests and complementary expertise.” MLIM’s work is primarily an interdisciplinary dialogue, bridging campuses and research fields.
“The idea was to link people with a machine learning background in Ithaca to [people working with] clinical data and hypotheses at Weill,” said Prof. Amy Kuceyeski, mathematics and radiology, one of the organizing members of the group. While Kuceyeski’s background is in mathematics, she started learning methods for modeling biological systems as a postdoctoral researcher at Weill. Seeing this as an area for innovation, Kuceyeski helped establish MLIM in 2018.
The latest cash infusion will help the company — which aims to leverage artificial intelligence to more effectively fight infectious diseases — develop and introduce its products to a broader market, according to company founder and CEO Dr. Niamh O’Hara.
Lauded for their early achievements in medicine and artificial intelligence, Erica Barnell ’13 and Sharon Li Ph.D. ’17 were named last month to the magazine’s annual list, which recognizes the work of individuals who have made innovations to their field at a young age.
MEDLIFE is an organization dedicated to providing equitable healthcare globally. The organization aims to address the gaps in healthcare infrastructure by partnering with local doctors, setting up mobile clinics and empowering students through fundraising and service learning trips.
As of February 28, 2019, the Center for Disease Control confirmed 587 cases of C. auris in the United States, over 300 of which are in New York State. Between 30 percent and 60 percent of people with C. auris have died, although other conditions may have played a role in these deaths.
In an email to students on Wednesday night, vice president for student and campus life Ryan Lombardi outlined plans for sweeping reforms to student mental health services. Some students, however, questioned whether Lombardi’s promises would result in meaningful improvements to Cornell’s frayed mental health support system.