Imeka is based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada and has a brain imaging technology platform specializing in microstructure and white matter connectivity. Imeka offers pharmaceutical companies the ability to combine diffusion MRI imaging and AI to map white matter integrity and understand the central nervous system morphology of patients. Imeka’s technology platform offers pharmaceutical and biotech companies the possibility to reconstruct the brain’s fiber network, providing insights into the white matter and the central nervous system, including the spinal cord.

The solution starts with acquiring images (diffusion MRI images), which represents the diffusion of water molecules along the brain’s nerve bundles. Those images are then run through Nextflow pipelines to launch quality checks, main image processing, and statistical processing. Imeka deploys its Nextflow pipelines in Singularity containers running on an on-premise compute cluster. The pipelines are pulled from a git repository and often have more than 50 compute steps with a lot of parallel processing. The next part of the compute process is to perform machine learning on the processed images. Nextflow is used to train the ML models utilizing GPUs with inference done on CPUs. Once the model is trained, Nextflow then pipes the models to Pytorch which runs the ML on the back end. This resulting information is used by pharmaceutical and biotech companies to select drug treatments.

"Nextflow elegantly solves problems and addresses the multiple challenges that we faced. We tested a lot of tools to orchestrate and launch containerized pipelines on our cluster. Nextflow just works, and provides reproducibility, which is so important in a regulated industry”
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