Jude Wagner should be on top of the world. His computer code accelerates a vast computer network called the Grid. The Grid unlocks mankind’s greatest scientific discovery—the human genome, making the interpretation of an individual’s DNA lightning fast. Its internet-based analysis will allow patients to be diagnosed with pinpoint accuracy. Moreover, personalized cures will become affordable to all. It means hope for millions of patients. In Wagner’s case, the mission is personal– it’s a cause that took hold of him after his mother died from breast cancer.
But days before Wagner’s Stanford team finalize a key partnership that will launch the discovery worldwide, two of his colleagues are found dead. Someone is trying to stop the modernization of medicine. Could Wagner be next on the list?
Ignoring deadly warnings, Wagner defies the FBI’s orders to sit tight. He hunts through Silicon Valley and San Francisco, chasing clues that lead him to powerful corporations, members of the most rebellious religions on earth and even the FBI itself. Ultimately, he sprints not only to defend his computer project from attack but to save his sister from cancer, the same disease that took his mother’s life.
If Wagner fails to protect the medical breakthrough at Stanford, not only will millions go on dying needlessly, but so will the person who is closest to him.
Gridlock is based on a tectonic shift in healthcare that redefines how we predict and treat human disease. Inspiration for the story came from my computer work at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. There I saw firsthand how biology and computers were converging. Petri dishes and microscopes were being replaced with databases and computer workstations—this foreshadowed the decoding of the human genome.