Wieden, Wetmore earn Compute Canada space

Two University of Lethbridge chemistry & biochemistry researchers have been awarded over 2.6Mio (million) processor hours and storage worth more than $380,000 as a result of the Compute Canada resource allocation competition.

Drs. Hans-Joachim Wieden and Stacey Wetmore were successful in earning two of the 212 grants given out by Compute Canada to leading Canadian research projects across the country.

In all, Compute Canada Calcul Canada (CC), Canada's national platform of High Performance Computing (HPC) resources and partners,administered grants of nearly $72 million worth of state-of-the-art computing, storage and support resources.

"Our research would not be possible without theirinfrastructure," says Wetmore, whose research isprimarily focused on understanding deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage and repair processes in our bodies in order to aid the design of new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease.

"Calculations of the complicated structure and reactions of biosystems require substantial computer resources that can only be obtained through national computing consortiums."

The grants allocate nearly one billion processor hours and 10.4 petabytes of storage to the projects over the next year.

Researchers will also have direct access to more than 40 programming and technical experts who are critical to enabling the efficient use of these state-of-the-art HPC systems.

"Compute Canada's extensive network of computing resources, data storage facilities, research tools and expertise is supporting projects that feed into a thriving Canadian R&D sector and contribute important socio-economic benefits to Canada," saysBill Appelbe, CC's incoming CEO. "This year's allocations represent the diverse and leading-edge science taking place at research institutions across the country."

The projects — which range from aerospace design and climate modeling to medical imaging and nanotechnology — produce results and breakthroughs that in many cases simply wouldn't be possible without CC's resources.

Wieden's research program is focused on unraveling the design principles underlying communication processes within biomolecular machines responsible for their functional complexity. Understanding the basis of intra- and intermolecular communication will help to understand cause-and-effect relationships in a number of chronic diseases, such as cancer or cystic fibrosis.

"Without Compute Canada Calcul Canada, this research would not be possible," says Wieden. "The research approach we are using involves the intricate combination of computational and laboratory research. For our group, it would be impossible to obtain and even more important, maintain, the required computational resources."

Wetmore echoes Wieden, saying her group's work is dependent on these resources.

"Compute Canada Calcul Canada infrastructure is vital to our work since large-scale computer models of biosystems require significant computer resources in terms of the important factors of time, memory and disk space," says Wetmore.

CC's resources are granted based on scientific merit and computational need. In addition to the grants for above average computing requirements, all Canadian researchers have access to significant default allocations of computational resources and support expertise.