Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is accepting applications to the free Early User Program (EUP) for Neocortex, the new NSF-funded AI supercomputer using groundbreaking hardware to accelerate research for science, discovery, and societal good. Applications are being accepted through Sept. 21. For additional information, visit: https://www.cmu.edu/psc/aibd/neocortex/early-user-program.html.
When a toxic material decays in the ground, it seems obvious that it would steadily weaken. Not necessarily. Some chemical compounds can actually become more toxic while they decay, according to researcher Trevor Sleight (at left). Sleight has created a model to better understand what chemical compounds are most likely to degrade into more toxic daughter compounds. His research, done using CRC resources, was published this summer in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Uma Chandran lives at the hub of bioinformatics at Pitt, helping connect a vast range of researchers with computational support and expertise, working closely with consultant Fangping Mu at the Center for Research Computing. Chandran, associate professor in biomedical informatics, coordinates resources that support dozens of genomic projects involving comparisons of normal and diseased cells in rare disorders, HIV, and several cancers -- lung, prostate, breast, and hand and neck, among others.
Heng Huang leads a group of multi-year projects known as Brain Big Data – a machine learning framework for data mining across multiple research sites to develop diagnostic tools for brain disorders based analyzing gene sequencing, clinical imaging, and biochemical markers together within a unified data set. Combining data formats efficiently is a challenge. Imagine meshing old videotapes and MP4s into one analyzable format – and then including scanned text from film scripts in the analysis. Huang’s team attacked the challenge using CRC resources to blend and process diverse imaging data.
Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous nanomaterials that can absorb and hold gases to filter toxic gases or store fuel for natural gas- or hydrogen gas-powered engines. But MOFs don't work well if they get too hot. CRC collaborator Christopher Wilmer, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, led a team from six universities in a simultaneous experiment of heat transfer in MOFs. The study found that MOFs trap more heat than expected - throwing up challenges for practical engineering applications. The study was recently published in Nature Communications.
Immunologist Anthony Cillo explores the range of immune responses to head and neck cancer in men to help in developing effective immunotherapies. He and collaborators used CRC’s advanced bioinformatics analysis resources in to examine immune cells from head and neck cancer patients to probe the question - why are immune responses markedly different in patients with cancer caused by the HPV virus versus cancers caused by carcinogens like smoking?
Center for Research Computing had a great year in 2019-2020. We expanded our reach with more users, greatly increased usage, enabled more grants and more grant dollars. We expanded our impact to more departments and documented more published papers and presentations. We added storage and computing capacity.
Read our annual report Research of Impact 2019-2020 to learn more about CRC's collaborations and support for epidemiological models and biomedical informatics research into COVID-19, as well as innovative projects in humanities, bioengineering, and more.
CRC prides itself on responsiveness, flexibility, and speed. The CRC team recently outdid itself putting together a complex set of computing resources for a COVID-19-related project for the Department of Biomedical Informatics. CRC consultant and research faculty Kim Wong started from zero late on a Friday afternoon to having the resources in place in a matter of a few hours, in close collaboration with Pitt IT,
At left: This electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (pink) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML