Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                         CONTACT:
October 20, 1998                                 Michael Schneider
                                                 Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Wins Grant for Biomed Collaboratories

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center has received a four-year, $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study new technologies that can improve the ability of biomedical scientists at separate locations to collaborate effectively. With this grant, from NIH's National Center for Research Resources, PSC will implement collaborative tools — shared whiteboard, desktop videoteleconferencing, shared software revision control and others — and evaluate their effectiveness in biomedical research.

"Ever-faster networks linking increasingly cost-effective workstations and servers are driving these emerging technologies," says PSC scientist Sergiu Sanielevici, who will oversee the project. "The objective is to give researchers improved ability to share intellectual resources despite geographic barriers. No scientist works alone these days, and these tools are integral to computational-based science."

Distance computing, conducting research across networks, has become common over the last two decades. The grant draws on PSC's experience with distance computing and will introduce the new technologies into two existing PSC biomedical projects:

A primary objective of the grant is to suggest remedies as researchers encounter pitfalls in using different collaboratory tools. Charles Friedman and colleagues from the Center for Biomedical Informatics at UPMC will carry out this assessment and will report to the biomedical research community on what tools and practices work best. Their assessment will include social as well as technological issues that affect collaborative success.

PSC's biomedical program, begun in 1987 and funded primarily by NIH's National Center for Research Resources, is one of the first efforts nationally to focus on developing computational methods for biomedical research. Since 1988, their workshops have trained more than 1,300 biomedical scientists nationwide.

Further information about the PSC biomedical program is available on WWW: (http://www.psc.edu/biomed).

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with Westinghouse Electric Company. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.

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Revised: October 21, 1998

URL: http://www.psc.edu/publicinfo/news/1998/genome_09-11-98.html