Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Scientific Director Appointed to National Library of Medicine Board of Regents

PITTSBURGH, August 5, 2011 — Ralph Roskies, scientific co-director of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, has been appointed to the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine. The appointment, for a four-year term, was made by Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), in Bethesda, Maryland, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the world’s largest biomedical library. As a developer of electronic information services, it delivers trillions of bytes of data to millions of users every day.

At PSC, Roskies was Principal Investigator of the National Resource for Biomedical Supercomputing (NRBSC), the first external biomedical supercomputing program funded by NIH. NRBSC, a part of PSC, has developed software tools used with the NLM’s Visible Human project, which enhances anatomy training through innovative, interactive viewing. NRBSC volumetric visualization software also enables researchers to view and analyze the extremely large datasets obtained from light and electron microscopes, CAT and MRI scanners. In other work related to NLM’s mission, NRBSC carries out research and training in bioinformatics and led innovative early work using high-speed networks to link an MRI scanner with a supercomputer to produce, almost instantaneously, an animated 3D image of brain activity.

A Professor of Physics at the University of Pittsburgh, Roskies has been scientific co-director of PSC since it was established in 1986. PSC work pertinent to NLM includes development of file systems, large-scale data storage, and wide-area networking. In 1984, Roskies, together with Professor Michael Levine of Carnegie Mellon University and James Kasdorf from Westinghouse, developed the proposal to the National Science Foundation for what became PSC. He is the author of over 60 papers in theoretical elementary particle physics.

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