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St. Jude ranked among top 500 supercomputer centers

MEMPHIS, TENN.--December 22, 2003 - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has joined the ranks of world-class supercomputer users around the world with the installation of an IBM computer system that can perform more than 600 billion operations per second.

The supercomputer, an IBM eServer® BladeCenter™, which is equivalent to 280 servers working at once, puts St. Jude in 251st place among the top 500 supercomputer users in the world, according to Clayton W. Naeve, Ph.D., chief research information officer and director of the St. Jude Hartwell Center for Bioinformatics and Biotechnology.

St. Jude is the only children's hospital to make the list, which is compiled twice annually by supercomputing experts from the University of Mannheim, Germany, the University of Tennessee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (www.top500.org).

"St. Jude is now in the same arena as major computer centers operated by governments, major corporations, communications corporations and physics research centers around the world," Naeve said.

St. Jude will use this enormous computing capacity to accelerate medical research to find preventions, cures and new treatment options for catastrophic diseases in children, such as cancers, acquired and inherited immunodeficiencies and genetic disorders.

The supercomputer, a Linux cluster, permits many projects to be completed quickly at the same time, or one very large project to be completed quickly, according to Pat Ford, the supercomputer facility's operations director.

"Many of the important questions being asked by our researchers require enormous computing power to handle hundreds of thousands of pieces of data or to generate images of important biological molecules to study how they work in the body," Ford said. "The supercomputer will significantly speed research designed to save lives by reducing the time it takes for our scientists to move from data
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Contact: Bonnie Cameron
bonnie.cameron@stjude.org
901-495-4815
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
22-Dec-2003


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