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Supercomputer Dedicated To Bioengineering, Computational Biology Installed

The University of California, San Diego, with support from the National Institutes of Health and the Whitaker Foundation, has installed a supercomputer dedicated to solving a wide range of challenging biological problems. The 210-node Dell PowerEdge Linux cluster capable of 2.6 trillion mathematical operations per second, the second most powerful computer cluster on campus, will be used to analyze everything from the behavior of protein molecules and subcellular structures such as nerve synapses and cardiac muscle cells, to multicellular tissue and the whole heart.

Bioengineering professor David Gough (left), principal investigator of NBCR Peter Arzberger, Bioengineering vice chair Andrew McCulloch, director of SDSC's Advanced CyberInfrastructure Lab Phil Papadopoulos, Dell account manager Doug Shaw, and Bioengineering chair Shu Chien perform a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the dedication of UCSD's new cluster computer.

"No single computational model spans all these biological scales, but this powerful new cluster will enable us to integrate models over many of these scales, which will make it possible for us to predict, in some cases, the clinical consequences of specific genetic mutations or biochemical alterations caused by disease," said Andrew McCulloch, a professor and vice chair of the Jacobs School's Department of Bioengineering. He celebrated the installation of the cluster at a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 9 in the basement of Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall with fellow project co-leader Peter Arzberger, principal investigator and director of the National Biomedical Computational Resource (NBCR), a program funded by the National Institutes of Health, and director of Life Sciences Initiatives at UCSD.

Arzberger said the Department of Bioengineering and NBCR Dell Rocks Cluster will be quickly integrated into a computational grid to provide the resource to as many UCSD researchers as possible. Eventually, the cluster will also be made
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Source:UC San Diego


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