NIH grants $80 million to biomedical computing centers

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Following its roadmap plan for bioinformatics and computational biology, the National Institutes of Health this week named four new national centers for biomedical computing that will develop and implement the core of a universal computing infrastructure for biomedical research.

The five-year grants awarded to the centers total more than $79.7 million, $15.7 million of which is for the first year. The centers will create software programs that will enable the biomedical community to integrate, analyze, model, simulate and share data on human health and disease.

"The ultimate goal is for every person involved in the biomedical enterprise to have at their fingertips the data analysis tools, models, visualizations and interpretive materials to do their jobs without deficiencies in computing being a rate-limiting step in the process," said Eric Jakobsson, director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and leader of the biomedical computing centers.

The four centers are: the Physics-Based Simulation of Biological Structures Center; the National Alliance for Medical Image Computing; the Computational Biology Center and the Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside Center.