Recent advances in neuroimaging technique require powerful, multi-node computer clusters or cloud computing resources to perform parallel distributed processing. Development and operation of these computer resources draws upon specific expertise that is generally not available to individual NINDS investigators. The Informatics Core provides expert personnel to support NINDS users (and related projects) in the access and use of advanced computing resources. The Core's services include the maintenance of a virtual computing environment that integrates a rich suite of neuroimaging analysis software with system tools for distributed processing, software development, and statistical analysis. This environment will initially be deployed on an NNC-managed cluster with a combined 580 compute cores with over 1.5 TB of combined RAM, and over 1OOTB of storage, but towards the end of the project period (Year 4), it will be migrated to the Institution?managed computing cloud. The Core will also deploy and maintain XNAT, a research imaging data archive capable of web-based management and processing of large imaging datasets. The Core offers a range of services that serve the NNC community as whole, as well as individual NINDS investigators. Community-wide services include hardware and software maintenance, interfacing of analysis pipelines with XNAT, mirroring of major reference imaging datasets in XNAT and education activities. Personalized services include customization of the NNC virtual environment, deployment if the environment on investigators'hardware, XNAT data import, system administrator support, one-on-one training and tutoring and a number of other specific services. The Core adopts a cost sharing approach, where services and computing resources beyond an established baseline level are billed to the investigators, with the NINDS investigators paying half the rate of other users

Public Health Relevance

Imaging studies of the brain produce enormous quantities of data across space and time. These data are analyzed to identify relationships between brain, behavior, disease, and genes. These analyses are complicated, and modern approaches distribute the work across a cluster of computer nodes. The Informatics Core provides neuroimaging scientists with experts who can operate this shared computing resource and adapt its function to the needs of individual experiments.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1)
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University of Pennsylvania
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