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Oncology: “For us, this is the highest priority. It’s our Manhattan Project.”

Johns Hopkins radiologist Elliot Fishman describing The Felix Project, a multiyear, multimillion-dollar effort to improve the early detection of pancreatic cancer through use of sophisticated computer programs that teach themselves to read CT scans. The goal: to spot pancreatic cancers far sooner than humans alone can do, before they turn deadly.

The project’s team, which meets weekly, also includes oncologist Bert Vogelstein; molecular geneticist Ken Kinzler; radiologists Karen Horton and Linda Chu; pathologist Ralph Hruban; and machine learning expert Alan Yuille.

Noting that The Felix Project is named after the Felix Felicis potion in the Harry Potter books, which gives drinkers success in everything they do, Fishman says, “This is our moment. It’s a mission to make a difference in people’s lives.”