The Bioinformatics Research Center (BRC), together with the University Research Computing (URC) support group, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) is requesting a high performance computing resource in support of numerous NIH-funded projects in computational biology. The resource will provide expanded computing access to support an array of computational biology efforts, including projects in protein stability/flexibility relationships, molecular dynamics, protein electrostatics, RNA secondary structure prediction, and digital processing of biological images. All of these efforts are extremely compute-intensive, and will be substantially advanced by access to the resource, which is cost-prohibitive and difficult to justify for individual projects. Specifically, this application requests 76 compute nodes with dual Intel Xeon quad-core processors and 16 GB of DIMMS RAM. In total, the cluster includes 608 computing cores, 1.2 TB RAM (2 GB per core), 56 TB of usable disk storage, and gigabit Ethernet interconnect with separate paths for data and parallel communication. The resource will be completely maintained by URC (which currently manages several other research clusters on campus), and will be stored in dedicated server space within the new BRC building, which has been constructed to unify the campus'efforts in bioinformatics and computational biology. As such, the resource will provide an extensive increase in computational resources at UNC Charlotte that will substantially advance our institution's goals of promoting state-of-the-art research in computational biology.
This high performance computer cluster will provide several NIH-funded researchers access to the resources needed for fundamental computational biology research, including: (1.) investigating fundamental mechanisms in cellular processes and disease, (2.) improving the reliability of nucleotide microarrays, and (3.) in vivo image analyses of tumor cells metastasizing to the liver.
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