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Mount Sinai Using $2M NIH Grant to Build New Supercomputer for Omics Research

NEW YORK – Mount Sinai Health System in New York said today that it is using a $2 million National Institutes of Health to build a new supercomputer to replace an existing one and enable the processing and analysis of "big omics" data for research.

The new system, called BODE 2, will launch at the end of this year and will replace BODE, which was used by 61 basic and translational researchers at Mount Sinai and their collaborators at 75 other institutions. BODE enabled scientific findings that appeared in more than 167 publications with a total of 2,427 citations in three years, Mount Sinai said.

BODE 2 is a Lenovo ThinkSystem SR360 that consists of 3,840 Intel Cascade Lake cores, with 15 terabytes of memory, 14 petabytes of raw storage, and 11 petabytes of usable storage, Mount Sinai said. It will produce approximately 28 million core compute hours per year at a frequency of 2.6 GHz and will have a peak speed of 220 teraflops per second — approximately double that of BODE.

One example of a research project that BODE 2 will facilitate is a study of the mechanism of SPl1-dependent Alzheimer disease risk. BODE 2 will provide both the necessary storage for whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data from more than 10,000 study subjects and the processing power (approximately 12 million compute hours) to analyze the data using machine learning techniques.

Another example is the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program, for which BODE 2 will provide 1.75 petabytes of storage necessary for WGS, other omics, molecular, behavioral, imaging, environmental, and clinical data to explore the biological causes underlying heart, blood, lung, and sleep disorders. It will also provide the hundreds of terabytes required for intermediate results storage and the approximately 7 million compute hours necessary for the highest-powered analysis of the TOPMed data.

"Computing capability of this size and speed is not available widely, and Mount Sinai's investment in building this infrastructure will translate into more robust genetics and population analysis, gene expression, machine learning, and structural and chemical biology investigations, and result in new insights and advances in a wide range of diseases including Alzheimer's, autism, influenza, prostate cancer, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders," Patricia Kovatch, senior associate dean for scientific computing and data science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said in a statement.

The one-year grant began in July and is administered by the NIH Office of the Director.