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Inside India's Drug Discovery Hackathon

Podcast host Rebecca Parsons and Ashok Subramanian | Podcast guest Pooja Arora and Justin Jose
March 23, 2023 | 38 min 56 sec

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Brief summary

Covid-19 unleashed a wave of medical and pharmaceutical research and innovation across the world. In India, the government launched the Drug Discovery Hackathon, an initiative designed to bring together expertise in fields ranging from biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, machine learning and virology to discover new drugs that could help thwart the pandemic. 


One team that took part was from Thoughtworks India. In this episode of the Technology Podcast, two of the members — Pooja Arora and Justin Jose — talk to Rebecca Parsons and Ashok Subramanian about a number of projects they worked on during the hackathon. Among other things, they explain how they used reinforcement learning to improve the efficacy of potential drugs in tackling what was, at the time, a virus that was only partially understood.

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