Back in March, PokerStars was honoured to be invited by Cancer Research UK to take part in its second Citizen Science Project 'GameJam'. PokerStars employees joined the charity's world-leading scientists and technology gurus from the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google to help design and develop a mobile game that would aid cancer research.
The GameJam event was a sort of hackathon that brought scientists and the tech community together, with the goal to come up with a mobile game application to help process hundreds of thousands of pieces of gene data in a fun and engaging way. It is hoped the game will be played by anyone, from anywhere in the world and in the process help towards accelerating cures for cancer.
The finished application will allow the public to play an enjoyable game and simultaneously identify common changes in genes caused by a gain or loss of chromosomes. This will significantly reduce the time it would usually take lab workers to investigate the data.
Two of our developers, Eric Hibbs and Ravid Rosental, offered to give up their weekend to work in teams alongside scientists from Cancer Research UK and colleagues from other leading tech companies. Eric, who features in the GameJam video documenting the event said: "The event was amazing. I've always had a passion for making video games. Having the chance to exercise my passion with a gifted co-worker for a great cause was a fantastic opportunity. I hope that I get the chance to take part in a similar event again, and I'm grateful that PokerStars was willing to send me on such a great adventure."
As a technology company we are very proud to see that our highly skilled workforce can have a real positive social impact through this exciting project. We look forward to seeing the result of everyone's combined hard work and effort and continuing our involvement with this potentially life changing project.
Sue Hammett is the Head of Corporate Giving for The Rational Group.