Life science research for NIH to continue externally

The National Institutes of Health will continue to boost its research computing power externally.

Under a five-year, $8.5 million contract with the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, NIH scientists will have faster processing systems to perform life science research.

NIH renewed the National Resource for Biomedical Supercomputing program with PSC, which originally won the $8.6 million grant in 2000.

PSC scientists research life science and work with other experts in computational science and biomedicine to exchange data, officials said.

NRBSC's core focus is research, but the program also collaborates with other researchers and provides computational resources, outreach and training, officials said.

"We've developed computational tools in simulation and visualization that are helping scientists nationwide," said Joel Stiles PSC scientific director of NRBSC, in a press release.

NRBSC's renewed contract will help them continue research in spatially realistic cellular modeling, large-scale volumetric visualization and analysis, and computational structural biology.

According to officials, work done in this these fields include:

  • Software that creates three-dimensional models to simulate movement and reaction of molecules within and between cells;
  • Software that lets users view and analyze three- and four-dimensional data sets;
  • Development of computational tools to determine structures of proteins; and
  • Development of quantum-mechanical simulation methods.

"Our long-term vision," Stiles said, "includes integration of these areas to enable multiscale modeling of molecules, cells and tissues, with a substantial future impact on human health care."

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