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Wash U Genomics Center to Spend $10M to Upgrade Bioinformatics Chops to Support Next-Gen Sequencers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University plans to spend more than $10 million to expand its informatics center to help it handle and store data from next-generation projects performed at the school’s Genome Sequencing Center, a spokeswoman for the university told GenomeWeb Daily News today.
The 16,000 square-foot center will be housed at the university’s School of Medicine, the spokeswoman said. According to a local news report, the center will house 120 racks of data-storage and computing equipment to help it support its sequencers.
The Genome Sequencing Center’s Director, Richard Wilson, said in a statement that the new data center will “provide the ‘extra space’ and more efficient data processing required by advanced sequencing technologies, and it will meet our computing needs for the next several years."

The announcement comes five months after IT directors from leading US genome-sequencing centers, including Washington U’s, said that their existing IT systems are insufficient to handle data from the new instruments, according to GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication In Sequence

Speaking at a conference in May, the directors said that as their next-gen platforms come online, IT managers are struggling to design new systems that can capture, analyze, manage, and store up to several terabytes of data per run.

The university announced the plan for the data center in tandem today with the official groundbreaking ceremony for a new medical center on campus that will house, among other programs, the school’s labs for the Cancer Genome Atlas program. The GSC received $41 million for fiscal 2007 from the National Human Genome Research Institute for the Cancer Genome Atlas program.

The new medical facility is supported by a gift of $30 million from BJC HealthCare and will be named the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University.

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