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Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry Uses MathWorks Tools in Its Quest to Cure Cancer : Institute Accelerates Reconstruction of Key Protein Complexes Using MATLAB and Parallel Computing Toolbox

The MathWorks today announced that the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry is using MATLAB, Parallel Computing Toolbox, MATLAB Distributed Computing Server, and other MathWorks tools to accelerate its workflow and drastically reduce research and development time.

NATICK, Mass. (Business Wire EON) November 10, 2008 -- Researchers at the department of Molecular Structural Biology at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, based in Martinsried, near Munich, Germany, study the relationship between the structure and activity of macromolecular protein complexes involved protein degradation in cells. This complex research requires high-throughput tools and procedures capable of efficiently processing vast amounts of data.

Max Planck Institute researchers turned to MathWorks tools to develop streamlined procedures for their data-intensive applications, including image acquisition, filtering, processing, and 3-D reconstruction. For techniques such as pattern matching and single-particle reconstruction that required computationally intensive algorithms, researchers used Parallel Computing Toolbox and MATLAB Distributed Computing Server to accelerate computation over a 64-node cluster.

"Reconstructing a 3-D volume typically takes days on a single CPU, but by using Parallel Computing Toolbox and MATLAB Distributed Computing Server from The MathWorks we were able to speed up our processing by 20 to 30 times," said Andreas Korinek, scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. "Particularly helpful was the ability to use our cluster productively from the MATLAB environment without having to be experts in parallel programming or having to learn another programming language. The changes to the existing serial applications are minimal; in most cases, our researchers did not have to go beyond changing for-loops to parallel for-loops to parallelize our MATLAB code and use the cluster productively."

"Intensive research projects that require complex data processing can benefit greatly from the efficiencies that parallel computing affords. However, parallel programming is hard and traditionally engineers and scientists have had to program their applications using low-level languages," said Silvina Grad-Freilich, manager of parallel computing and application deployment marketing at The MathWorks. "With tools such as Parallel Computing Toolbox and MATLAB Distributed Computing Server, The MathWorks is committed to helping MATLAB users seamlessly make the transition to parallel programming."

About the Max Planck Society and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry

The Max Planck Society conducts basic research in the sciences, arts, and humanities with the objective of concentrating in particular areas of research to supplement research carried out by the universities. The society maintains 76 institutes and three additional research facilities, employing approximately 13,000 employees as of January 2008. The Max Planck Society is based in Munich, Germany.

With more than 800 employees the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried is one of the largest institutes within the Max Planck Society. The research focus of the institute covers biomedical research on protein and cellular structures.

About The MathWorks

The MathWorks is the world's leading developer of technical computing and Model-Based Design software for engineers and scientists in industry, government, and education. With an extensive product set based on MATLAB and Simulink, The MathWorks provides software and services to solve challenging problems and accelerate innovation in automotive, aerospace, communications, financial services, biotechnology, electronics, instrumentation, process, and other industries.

The MathWorks was founded in 1984 and employs more than 2000 people worldwide, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts. For additional information, visit

MATLAB and Simulink are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc. See for a list of additional trademarks. Other product or brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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