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Mount Sinai awarded $2M to build supercomputer for medical research

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Mount Sinai Health System a $2 million grant to build a new “big omics” supercomputer to better understand complex diseases.

The system—a Lenovo ThinkSystem SR360 called Big Omics Data Engine 2—will replace a previous Mount Sinai supercomputer by the end of the year, providing the computing power necessary to offer insights into a wide range of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, autism, influenza, prostate cancer, schizophrenia and substance use disorders.

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“Supercomputers have become essential in biomedical scientific discovery, and Mount Sinai has been a leader on this front, making investments in computational and data science that are advancing our understanding of and ability to treat complex diseases,” says Dennis Charney, MD, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine and president for academic affairs at Mount Sinai Health System.

“With BODE 2, we are renewing our commitment to push the boundaries of scientific research, tackle questions that we did not previously have the computational power to take on and achieve breakthroughs that transform clinical care worldwide,” adds Charney.

The new supercomputer’s computing power will be driven by 3,840 Intel Cascade Lake cores, producing about 28 million core compute hours annually at a frequency of 2.6 GHz—with a peak speed of 220 teraflops per second, or double that of BODE.

“Based on our experiences with BODE, BODE 2 is designed to provide our researchers and clinicians, and their external partners in Mount Sinai-led national research projects, with the necessary infrastructure to achieve faster results for greater scientific throughput, increased fidelity in their simulations and analysis, and seamless migration of research applications to the software environment for enhanced scientific productivity,” says Patricia Kovatch, senior associate dean for scientific computing and data science at the Icahn School of Medicine.

Among the research projects that the new supercomputer will tackle: exploring the biological causes underlying heart, blood, lung and sleep disorders, as well as enhancing current treatments and discovering new therapies for Alzheimer’s.

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