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VBI to Receive over $1M in Computational Resources as Sun Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics

NEW YORK, March 6 - The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute said Tuesday it will receive over $1 million in computational resources and support for post-doctoral research from Sun Microsystems, who selected VBI as a Sun Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics. 

"The Center of Excellence program in computational biology recognizes leading academic organizations for their ability to significantly advance their fields through research and partnerships. Bioinformatics is one of the most dynamic areas of interest to Sun and we are excited to name VBI as a Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics," said Stefan Unger, business development manager for computational biology in Sun's global education and research group. 

Under the three-year partnership, VBI, housed at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., will work with Sun to coordinate VBI's biochemical simulation software, Gepasi, with Sun's high-performance computing platforms. In addition, VBI's next-generation simulator, Copasi, which is still in development, will be optimized to run under Sun's current and future platforms. 

"Sun's support in this project will ensure that our simulation software will utilize the maximal performance that Sun's servers and workstations are capable of," said Pedro Mendes, co-principal investigator of the project at VBI. 

In addition to the work at VBI, Virginia Tech’s department of computer science will receive support for its research in problem-solving environments in bioinformatics, an area in which VBI and the computer science faculty already collaborate.

"This is an early sign of VBI's accelerated progress in the field, only seven months after being inaugurated. The strong link to Sun will allow VBI to accelerate its research and economic development missions," said Bruno Sobral, director of VBI.


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