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UC Riverside Gets $600K NIH Grant to Support Big Data Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of California, Riverside $600,000 to support data-intensive research being conducted at the university, UCR announced on Thursday.

Specifically, the grant will go toward the purchase of a Big Data cluster with high-performance CPU resources and data storage space equal to about 5,000 laptops, UCR said, adding the grant would benefit more than 160 researchers from more than 15 departments and several colleges at the university.

In the grant's abstract contained in an NIH database, UCR researchers said that large-scale genomics and computational modeling approaches, such as next-generation sequencing and other high-throughput technologies, are routinely being used at the university in projects targeting neuroscience, cancer research, environmental health, wound healing, degenerative, and infectious diseases.

"Because these technologies output extremely large data sets, disk-based data storage required to process these 'Big Data' efficiently has become a major bottleneck to support the computational needs of NIH-funded biomedical research," the abstract said.

"With the new equipment grant from [the] NIH, [UCR's] compute facility will be able to at least quadruple its current compute resources, which should greatly help resolve our shortage of Big Data compute resources to support many new research programs," Thomas Girke, an associate professor of bioinformatics in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, and the principal investigator on the grant, said in a statement. Girke is also the director of UCR's central bioinformatics facility.