Supercomputer to boost drug design, personalized medicine research

A supercomputer for computation, simulation and data analysis in drug discovery will be tested by lucky early adopters early next year. The system is called The Beagle, after Darwin's ship. It's being unveiled by the Computation Institute via an NIH grant.

The Beagle is among the highest of high-performance machines: a 150-teraflop, 18,000-core Cray XE6, expected to make the top 50 list of the world's fastest supercomputers. It will be given a test drive early next year by 12 biomedical research teams from multiple institutions. These teams were chosen among others that presented cases for dedicated computing resources to improve drug design and develop patient-specific medicine, as well as additional discovery and development projects. The effort intends to demonstrate the changed biomedical research landscape, which encompasses whole-genome experimental data through digitalized clinical data from hospital patient records.

The Computation Institute is an initiative of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. It will be available for use by U of C researchers, their collaborators and "meritorious investigators nationwide."

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