After several years in the private sector exploring the unknown origins of neurodegenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Chris Ellis thinks one of the keys to solving the mystery is at Oak Ridge National Laboratory: the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

Ellis, a computational microbiologist in the Biosciences Division, is hoping to prove a theory that’s been getting more attention in the biomedical field—that microbes may play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.