by Kimberly Powell

The BioIT World Expo took place in Boston last week. The event brings together approximately 2000 life sciences, pharmaceutical, clinical, healthcare, and IT professionals from around 30 countries to share information and discuss the technologies that are driving biomedical research and drug development.

The bioscience community is tasked with perhaps some of life’s biggest challenges, from drug discovery to developing an overall better understanding of the human body. In these quests, computation is a researcher’s most important tool, enabling them to run larger and more accurate simulations as well as test a wider range and variety of laboratory-style scenarios. These two worlds converge in the field of bio-IT, and it is in this field where the parallel processing power of NVIDIA GPUs is having a profound effect.

For two of NVIDIA’s partners, BioIT World was a very rewarding show.

Microway, a HPC system designer and Tesla Preferred Partner, won a Best in Show award for its BioStack-LS cluster in the IT-Hardware and Infrastructure category. The BioStack cluster is a server equipped with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs that is optimized to run a range of applications from the Tesla Bio WorkBench program, such as AMBER and NAMD, which are pre-installed on the system.

“Molecular dynamics, quantum chemistry, and bioinformatics applications are particularly well suited for massive parallelism. NVIDIA’s Bio WorkBench ensures these applications are designed to run efficiently on the 448-core Tesla. With speedups exceeding 10x on many applications, scientists can leverage Tesla GPUs to achieve smaller footprints with increased computational power. Microway’s Tesla-based nodes are the ideal foundation for this accelerated research” commented Stephen Fried, Microway’s President and CTO.

OpenEye, who we blogged about last week, also has a shiny new Best in Show award for their corporate mantel for its FastROCS application. FastROCS seeks to find a molecule’s perfect match, in the process of finding new drugs to fight disease, and with some extremely smart programming and a little help from GPUs, the OpenEye team has turned a process that used to take hours or even days into real-time.

Brian Cole, the lead software developer behind FastROCS, said, “FastROCS running on a single computer equipped with four of the latest generation NVIDIA Tesla GPUs can achieve performance increases that are multiple orders of magnitude greater than one might see with traditional hardware.”

We’d like to congratulate both Microway and OpenEye for their awards and stay tuned to the NVIDIA blog for more information about NVIDIA in the bioscience space.