MGHPCC Recipient of Major MLSC Grant

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The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) receives a $4.54 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) for a computer system to be used for research in the life sciences.


Grant will ensure a strong life sciences program at MGHPCC

Western-MA-capital-grant-announcement-02.28.2013Of the more than $9 million in grants for life-sciences-related capital projects in Western Masachusetts announced by Governor Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) on February 28, 2013, $4.54 million comes to the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke to expand its capacity for life sciences-related research and data analysis.

The new MLSC-funded system, called the Commonwealth Computational Cloud for Data Driven Biology, will be dedicated to enhancing life sciences research through large-scale computation and big data analytics.

“This will allow Massachusetts life science practitioners to harness digital data in new ways in many areas, spanning basic investigations of neural structure and cellular systems biology to new computationally aided tools in clinical practice,” said Christopher N. Hill, principal research engineer at MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and leader of the MLSC proposal team. “The mixing and matching of different Commonwealth research endeavors under a single virtual and physical roof is just the sort of thing the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Consortium was established to catalyze.”

“Biomedical sciences are in the midst of a revolution, where many of the challenges are becoming large-scale data problems. This investment will poise the state of Massachusetts as a leader in the development of computational methods to make new discoveries and a catalytic force in applying these discoveries to improve health care,” said Manuel Garber, associate professor in the Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Through the MLSC, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences supercluster. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2007, and passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008.

“This investment will help keep Massachusetts at the forefront of computation-enhanced life sciences research,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, the president and CEO of the MLSC. “We want to leverage the resources of the MGHPCC to expand our capacity for genomics research and personalized medicine, two promising fields where advanced computing capabilities are essential.”

Specifically, the new computer system funded by the MLSC – to include hardware, software and applications — will:

•Boost individual and collaborative work in big data-enhanced life sciences research by the MGHPCC’s participating universities.

•Provide on-demand, big-data-enhanced life sciences capabilities to the start-up and enterprise community across Massachusetts.

•Connect commercial enterprises and the research community, and encourage the exchange between them of ideas and innovation in big data-enhanced life sciences.

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, a 10-year, $1-billion initiative that was signed into law in June of 2008. The MLSC’s mission is to create jobs in the life sciences and support vital scientific research that will improve the human condition. This work includes making financial investments in public and private institutions that are advancing life sciences research, development and commercialization as well as building ties among sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community.

For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.

Image caption: Governor Deval Patrick is joined by representatives from Western Massachusetts awardee organizations, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and Holyoke Community College students at the Feb. 28th Massachusetts Life Sciences Center capital grant announcement.