PSC Wins Contract to Host Biomolecular Research Machine

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The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced a $2.7 million for the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to host a very specialized supercomputer designed for biomolecular research.  The machine, called Anton, is the brainchild of D.E. Shaw Research [DESRES] in New York.  It will be made available by DESRES without cost for non-commercial research use by universities and other not-for-profit institutions.

This is an incredibly exciting project in many ways,” said Joel Stiles, the director of NRBSC. “With this very generous gift from D. E. Shaw Research and the funding provided by NIH, we are deploying a tool of unprecedented power for the benefit of biomedical researchers nationally. We hope and expect that this project will help to significantly advance our understanding of biomolecular structure and function, and to spur ongoing scientific and technological development in MD research and in other areas of computational biology.”

Anton was designed specifically to accelerate these biomolecular operations.  It will allow biomedical researchers to understand the motions and interactions of proteins and other biologically important molecules over much longer time periods than have previously been accessible to computational study.

Part of the award is to provide the data analysis facilities alongside the machine in order to perform inline data analysis streaming from Anton.  The new data digs will include nearly half a petabyte of online disk capacity.

For more info on Anton at PSC, read the full release here.