IBM Quantum System One at Cleveland Clinic with people walking by

IBM and Cleveland Clinic unveil the first quantum computer dedicated to healthcare research

3 minute read

In late 2021, Cleveland Clinic and IBM entered into a landmark 10-year partnership to use emerging technologies to help crack some of the biggest challenges in healthcare and life sciences. Using a combination of state-of-the-art high-performance hybrid cloud computing, next-generation AI, and quantum computing, the goal was to create a collaborative environment for Cleveland Clinic researchers and partners to advance biomedical science and treatment, as well as foster the next generation technology workforce for healthcare.


That partnership hit a major milestone last night, when Cleveland Clinic and IBM unveiled the first quantum computer delivered to the private sector and fully dedicated to healthcare and life sciences. The IBM Quantum System One machine sits in the Lerner Research Institute on Cleveland Clinic's main campus, and will help supercharge how researchers devise techniques to overcome major health issues. "Quantum and other advanced computing technologies will help researchers tackle historic scientific bottlenecks and potentially find new treatments for patients with diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes," said Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic.

Many people across Cleveland Clinic and IBM Research have come together to make this launch possible.


Dr. Serpil Erzurum, Cleveland Clinic’s chief research and academic officer, oversees enterprise-wide research programs that aim to deliver the most innovative care to patients. Her office doubles as an entry way into her lab, where her team studies mechanisms of airway inflammation and pulmonary vascular diseases.


Dr. Jae Jung, director of the Global Center for Pathogen & Human Health Research, works closely with his team of dynamic scientists who focus on the understanding of viral pathogens and the human immune responses so that we can better prepare and protect against future public health threats.


John Smith, IBM Fellow and chief IBM Scientist for the Discovery Accelerator, works in partnership with his Cleveland Clinic counterpart, Dr. Ahmet Erdemir, to orchestrate the many targeted workstreams that aim to accelerate biomedical research efforts. The complexity of the biomedical and healthcare data ecosystems require multidisciplinary investigations of disease trajectories, intervention possibilities and healthy homeostasis. Leveraging Cleveland Clinic’s biomedical research and clinical expertise and IBM’s global leadership in quantum computing and commitment to research at enterprise scale, the teams aim to advance the pace of discovery in healthcare and life sciences, and explore what wasn't previously possible.


Dr. Feixiong Cheng, of Cleveland Clinic’s Genomic Medicine Institute, is working with the IBM team to develop computer-based systems pharmacology and multi-modal analytics tools to optimize human genome sequencing and leverage large-scale drug-target databases more efficiently. Together with IBM researchers, Yishai Shimoni and Michael Danziger, they are aiming to develop effective ways to improve outcomes in long-term brain care and quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.


Dr. Lara Jehi, chief research information officer at Cleveland Clinic, is the executive program lead for the Discovery Accelerator partnership, in addition to running her own research, where her team applies AI to large-scale data sets to understand the effect of anti-inflammatory drugs on seizure recurrence in epilepsy patients who went through cranial surgery, in partnership with IBM researcher Liran Szlak.


Dr. Shaun Stauffer, director at the Center for Therapeutics Discovery, is working with IBM researcher Wendy Cornell and her team to augment the small molecule drug discovery process by leveraging 3D-underpinned generative AI models, including foundation models, and Bayesian optimization-prioritized simulation for drug discovery against COVID and other targets.


At an event yesterday, leaders from Cleveland Clinic and IBM, along with local, state, and federal officials came together to formally unveil the IBM Quantum System One on main campus. Cleveland Clinic's CEO and President Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, along with IBM Vice Chairman Gary Cohn and Darío Gil, SVP and director of IBM Research, and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, ARPA-H Deputy Director Dr. Susan Monarez and Congresswoman Shontel Brown, were in attendance for the ribbon-cutting.

If you're interested in joining us as we aim to transform research in medicine with quantum computing and beyond, we're building out the discovery accelerator and are looking for partners to join us. Please contact us here.