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Cycle Computing Reveals CycleCloud BigScience Challenge Finalists at SC '11

Entrants Aspire to Advance Parkinson's and Diabetes Research, Create Stem Cell Knowledgebase, Improve Organic Photovoltaics for Solar Cells and Map Genomic Diversity (November 15, 2011)

SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/15/11 -- Cycle Computing announced the finalists of the CycleCloud BigScience Challenge 2011 at Supercomputing 2011 in Seattle last night. The contest offers $10,000 of computation time, the equivalent of eight hours on a 30,000-core cluster to candidates who are working on behalf of non-profit organizations to further humanity and state of the art research.

Finalists were selected based on their proposal's long-term benefit to humanity, originality, creativity and suitability to run on CycleCloud clusters launched within Amazon Web Services (AWS). The grand prize, which includes an original $10,000 in credit from Cycle Computing and four hours of CycleCloud engineering support, will also include an additional $2,500 of credit from AWS.

Due to the impressive caliber of submissions, all finalists were awarded both the original $500 credit from Cycle Computing and an additional $1,000 credit from AWS. The finalists will be judged by Jason Stowe, CEO, Cycle Computing, and a panel of industry luminaries, including Matt Wood, technology evangelist for Amazon Web Services, Kevin Davies, editor-in-chief, Bio-IT World and Peter S. Shenkin, vice president, Schrödinger.

The finalists:


  • Alan Aspuru-Guzik, professor in department of chemistry and chemical biology and Johannes Hachmann, postdoctoral fellow, Harvard Clean Energy Project: Hachmann and Aspuru-Guzik wish to conduct computational screening and design of novel materials for the next generation of organic photovoltaics (OPVs). The goal is to facilitate creating the next generation of photovoltaic cells.
  • Jesus Izaguirre, associate professor of computer science and engineering and concurrent associate professor of applied and computational mathematics and statistics, University of Notre Dame: Izaguirre intends to explore mutations in proinsulin case misfolding and analyze the ability to stimulate the folding pathways of these mutations to provide mechanic insight into the events of onset of diabetes. He also plans to examine the dominant states in the folding pathways to enable structure-based drug design and the production of new therapies to combat this disease.
  • Soumya Ray, assistant professor of neurology, Harvard Medical School: Ray's team has identified a mutation that represents the majority of Parkinson's disease patients. They seek to utilize the additional computational power to explore the dynamics of the protein and how it interacts with inhibitors to understand how drugs interact with the mutation, benefitting a large number of researcher and other drug discovery programs around the world.
  • Victor Ruotti, computational biologist, Morgridge Institute for Research: Ruotti aspires to collect genetic information, specifically RNA alignments, from different types of cells to build an RNA-based indexing system for stem cells. Once these alignments are identified, analysis based on this knowledgebase will provide a better understanding of the overarching signaling mechanisms used by stems cells to support generation of personalized, cell-based therapies for a variety of diseases.
  • Martin Steinegger, bioinformatics researcher, TU Munich ROSTLAB: Steinegger's team's goal is to provide access to every possible mutation in the gene sequence that will ever be observed in humans. To achieve, they have started a new project called SNAP-Map, which strives to calculate every possible single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in human proteins to make this technology and data available worldwide. With this data available, researchers will have the ability to access the effect of mutations in individuals and advance the efforts towards individual medicine based on understanding human diversity and variation.

"We created the CycleCloud BigScience Challenge to remove boundaries and help democratize access to supercomputing resources" said Jason Stowe, founder and CEO, Cycle Computing. "As a bootstrapped company, we understand why researchers are usually confined to sizing their questions to the compute cluster they have, or can afford. These finalists highlight how utility supercomputing gives scientists the computational room to realize their vision, ask challenging questions, and move humanity forward."

Each finalist will provide a presentation and demo on their research to the Cycle Judging Panel followed by a 30 minute Q&A. The Finalists' entries will be judged against the contest criteria and the grand prize winner will be announced next year on the Cycle Computing site.

About Cycle Computing:
Cycle Computing, a bootstrapped, profitable software company, delivers proven, secure and flexible utility supercomputing software and services since 2005. Cycle helps clients maximize existing HPC infrastructure and speed computations on servers, virtual machines, and on-demand in the cloud. Thanks to our CycleServer HPC management software and our CycleCloud fully-supported & secured HPC clusters, Cycle clients experience faster time-to-market, decreased operating costs, and unprecedented service & support. Starting with three initial Fortune 100 clients, Cycle has grown to deploy proven implementations at Fortune 500s, SMBs and government and academic institutions including JP Morgan Chase, Purdue University, Pfizer and Lockheed Martin.

Media Contact:
Laura Anderson
Articulate Communications Inc.
landerson@articulatecomms.com
212.255.0080, ext. 11


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