Computer database to help in fight against breast cancer

Chris Dix and Phil Schultheis, both 2011 computer and information technology graduates, spent part of their senior year using their skills in database and web application development to create a virtual tissue bank for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center (KTB).

The virtual bank will allow the tissue bank’s specimen data, which is stored in a large database, to be accessed online through a web portal. Having the data in virtual form will allow researchers around the world to search for tissues that meet their needs and to conduct multiple experiments via computer and computer simulation.

Dix and Schultheis were the ideal candidates for the team, according to John Springer, assistant professor of computer and information technology. They had both interned with Cisco Systems, giving them the relevant skills in Oracle Application Express, a rapid Web application development tool for Oracle Database that is driving the project.

“For a lot of our projects, and every CIT class, you have to translate what the business does into an applicable product,” Schultheis said. “You need the technical skills — database, programming languages — but all the communication and business background is just as important. It’s something that will help you in the long run.”