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Georgia Tech accelerates drug discovery with new IBM supercomputing cluster

The Center will use IBM technologies to advance research into new drugs for the treatment of some of today's most life-threatening diseases, including cancer. The Center's research will be headed by one of the world's leading systems biologists, Dr. Jeffrey Skolnick, the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Computational Systems Biology.

Funded by $8.5 million in grants from the State of Georgia, the Georgia Research Alliance and the National Institutes of Health, the new Center for the Study of Systems Biology merges Dr.Skolnick's biomedical research expertise with IBM's high-performance computing capabilities to create a brand new supercomputer. The new supercomputing cluster running Linux will be among the fastest in the world, and one of the most powerful among research universities in the Southeastern United States. The cluster is hosted by BellSouth's world-class facilities in Midtown Atlanta.

"By using IBM technology for our research, we can significantly shorten the time to market for new drugs," said Dr. Skolnick. "Systems biology integrates mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology with advanced, high performance computing and engineering. Bioinformatics and systems biology allow us to utilize the vast information growing out of the sequencing of the human genome, enabling drug developers to reduce the number of compounds they must screen by a factor of 10."

The 1000-node Cluster 1350 system built on IBM BladeCenter systems and powered by dual-core AMD OpteronTM processors is capable of performing more than 8.5 trillion calculations per second, which would place it as the world's 41st most powerful supercomputer based upon the November 2005 TOP500 list (www.top500.org) of supercomputers. The system performance and scalability will offer students and faculty the ability to quickly and accurately analyze complex DNA and proteins to determine the biological and chemical processes of human cancer genes and prote
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Contact: David Terraso
d.terraso@gatech.edu
404-385-2966
Georgia Institute of Technology
8-Feb-2006


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