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UB Receives $2.5M Biomedical Computing Award from NIH

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The University at Buffalo Center for Computational Research said this week that it has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to install a new biomedical research computing infrastructure.

The award was one of three totaling more than $11 million that UB center has received over the last 12 months to further develop its research computational infrastructure.

The funding will quadruple the center's computational power and storage capacity and create at least four new jobs, the university said.

The NIH award will support the development of “improved methods for large scale molecular electronic structure computations with application to protein chemistry and pharmaceutical drug design, regulatory genomics aimed at understanding the biochemistry of gene regulation in DNA, establishment of a bioinformatics infrastructure for conducting disease and medication management research, and computational analysis of complex pharmacological systems,” among other research focuses, according to the grant abstract.

In addition to the NIH grant, the center received a five-year $7.75 million grant from the National Science Foundation and $1.2 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The funds from the NSF will be used to develop software tools and services to monitor the NSF-funded TeraGrid, an open scientific discovery infrastructure, which supports more than 4,000 researchers at more than 200 universities nationwide.

TeraGrid has over 2 petaflops of computing capability and more than 50 petabytes of online and archival data storage. The system integrates high-performance computers, data resources and tools, and experimental facilities around the country and gives users access to over 100 discipline-specific databases in fields such as chemistry, physics, and molecular biology.

The NYSERDA funds, meantime, will help the CCR reduce its power consumption by 30 percent, which will cut about $150,000 per year in energy costs from the center’s budget while doubling its compute capacity at the same time.