The Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will collaborate on an $8.8 million, 3.5-year effort to make the volumes of data arising from cancer research more accessible, organized, and powerful. This contract was awarded by the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research on behalf of the National Cancer Institute.
Led by Oregon State University (OSU), scientists from RENCI, Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Chicago, and Johns Hopkins University will team up to create and operate the Center for Cancer Data Harmonization (CCDH).
The CCDH will work with a cloud-based data-sharing portal called the Cancer Research Data Commons. In the Commons, the goal is for disparate types of data generated by everything from basic science studies to clinical trials to be integrated and structured in ways that help researchers make advances and clinicians provide the best treatments.
The center’s work will be organized around five key areas: community development, data model harmonization, ontology and terminology ecosystem, tools and data quality, and program management.
RENCI will contribute expertise in incorporating ontologies into tools for data validation, harmonization, and quality control. As open biomedical datasets continue to increase, facilitating the ability of researchers to navigate those datasets and find insight becomes increasingly important – and increasingly difficult – according to RENCI Senior Research Scientist James Balhoff, PhD.
“Ontologies define relationships between concepts in a way that allows computers to do logical reasoning, but you need tools that take advantage of that to help with quality control,” said Balhoff. “Combining input from researchers and the work of the other institutions on the project to create semi-automated tools will empower data providers to prepare and QC their own data and to create a more searchable database within the Cancer Research Data Commons.”
“Our team includes experts across the fields of data modeling, terminologies, enterprise software development, cancer research, and clinical oncology,” said lead principal investigator Melissa Haendel, who directs OSU’s Translational and Integrative Sciences Laboratory. “They have all created world-renowned programs exemplary of the kinds of expertise needed to create a new Cancer Data Ecosystem as outlined by the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel recommendation. We are exceptionally honored at OSU to be able to help lead this vision.”
Collaboration will establish a nationwide network infrastructure
The University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill will lead a $20
million project to create a platform for testing novel
internet architectures that could enable a faster, more secure
With leadership from
researchers at the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI),
UNC-Chapel Hill and its partners will build a platform, called
to provide a nationwide testbed for reimagining how data can be
stored, computed and moved through shared infrastructure. FABRIC,
funded by the National Science Foundation, will allow scientists to
explore what a new Internet could look like at scale, and help
determine the internet architecture of the future.
The Internet is a
global network of computers that communicate information back and
forth, powering the worldwide web and all online devices and
activities. A series of government-funded programs from the 1960s
through the 1980s established the computer networking architectures
that formed the basis for today’s Internet. FABRIC will help test
out new network designs that could overcome current bottlenecks and
continue to extend the Internet’s broad benefits for science and
society. FABRIC will explore the balance between the amount of
information a network maintains, the network’s ability to process
information, and its scalability, performance and security.
“The Internet has
been a great enabler for many science disciplines and in people’s
everyday lives, but it is showing its age and limitations, especially
when it comes to processing large amounts of data. If computer
scientists were to start over today, knowing what they now know, the
Internet might be designed in a different way,” said Ilya Baldin,
director of Network Research & Infrastructure at RENCI, who will
serve as one of five principal investigators on the project.
large-scale network infrastructure where the Internet can be
reimagined, and a variety of ideas can be tried out and compared. If
FABRIC allows the research community to come up with ideas on how to
reimagine the Internet based on a new set of architectural tradeoffs,
then everybody wins – researchers and citizens alike.”
was not designed for the massive data sets, machine learning tools,
advanced sensors and Internet of Things devices that have become
central to many research and business endeavors. FABRIC will give
computer scientists a place to test networking and cybersecurity
solutions that can better capitalize on these tools and potentially
extend the Internet’s benefits to people in remote or underserved
As lead, RENCI will
oversee the effort while also contributing to software development,
supporting hardware deployment and assisting with outreach efforts.
Research and Infrastructure Group at RENCI is an incredibly
influential team of researchers, and this award demonstrates their
efforts to ensure that continuing research in fundamental networking
principles is available to all,” said Stan Ahalt, director of
complicated problems today requires sophisticated data science, which
is more than data management and analytics,” Ahalt said. “Data
transport and data security are also vital, and the FABRIC project
showcases RENCI’s impact on the fundamental infrastructure of data
science by working toward creating new mechanisms to transport data
quickly, efficiently, and securely.”
FABRIC will consist
of storage, computational and network hardware nodes connected by
dedicated high-speed optical links. In addition to the interconnected
deeply-programmable core nodes deployed across the country, FABRIC
nodes will include major national research facilities such as
universities, national labs and supercomputing centers that generate
and process enormous scientific data sets. Such flexibility and
control over the network functionality will allow experimenters to
test new architectures not possible today. All major aspects of the
FABRIC infrastructure will be programmable, so researchers can create
new configurations or tailor the platform for specific research
purposes, such as cybersecurity.
“We don’t know
what’s the right balance between smarts, or how self-knowledgeable
the Internet needs to be, and scalability and performance,” said
Baldin. “What we are offering is an instrument where these
questions can be studied and researchers can make real progress
toward envisioning the Internet of the future.”
Collaborating organizations include the University of Kentucky, the
Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, Clemson University
and the Illinois Institute of Technology. Contributors from the
University of Kentucky and Energy Sciences Network will be
instrumental in designing and deploying the platform’s hardware and
developing new software. Clemson and Illinois Institute of Technology
researchers will work with a wide variety of user
communities—including those focused on security, distributed
architectures, scientific applications, and data transfer
protocols—to ensure FABRIC can serve their needs. In addition,
researchers from many other universities will help test the platform
and integrate their computing infrastructure and scientific
instruments into FABRIC.
phase of the project is expected to last four years, with the first
year dedicated to software development, finalizing technical designs,
and prototyping. Subsequent years will focus on rolling out the
platform’s hardware to participating sites across the nation and
connecting it to major national computing facilities. Ultimately,
experimenter communities will be able to attach new instruments or
hardware resources to FABRIC’s uniquely extensible design, allowing
the infrastructure to grow and adapt to changing research needs over
The iRODS Consortium, the foundation that leads development and support of the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) data management software, welcomes SUSE as its newest Consortium member.
iRODS is open source storage data management software for data discovery, workflow automation, secure collaboration, and data virtualization. By creating a unified namespace and a metadata catalog of all the data and users within a storage environment, the iRODS rule engine allows users to automate data management.
iRODS easily integrates with SUSE Enterprise Storage, powered by Ceph technology, enabling users to take control of their data, regardless of where and on what device the data is stored by integrating multiple storage tiers into a single storage cluster. As the newest iRODS Consortium member, SUSE will help direct the technology and governance of iRODS and will participate in the development and testing of the software, which is used by research and business organizations around the globe.
“SUSE has a rich history of Linux distribution and open source support, and partnering with them will allow iRODS to make even deeper connections throughout the open source community,” said Jason Coposky, Executive Director, iRODS Consortium. “SUSE Enterprise Storage integrated with iRODS’ data management capabilities creates a compelling and comprehensive solution stack.”
Alan Clark, SUSE CTO Office lead focused on Industry Initiatives and Emerging Standards and chairman of the OpenStack Foundation board of directors, said, “SUSE
is excited to join the iRODS Consortium, lending our open source
technical expertise to help advance the iRODS data management software.
The integration with SUSE Enterprise Storage helps customers lower total
cost of ownership, leveraging commodity hardware to support their iRODS-managed storage environments.
As a leading provider of open source software, SUSE helps our customers
leverage the latest open source technologies for application delivery
and software-defined infrastructure. SUSE tests and hardens our
solutions, ensuring they are enterprise ready and backed by our superior support experience.”
The iRODS Consortium guides development and support of iRODS, along with providing production-ready iRODS distribution and iRODS professional integration services, training, and support. The consortium is administered by founding member RENCI, a research institute for applications of cyberinfrastructure located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In addition to SUSE, current members of the iRODS Consortium include Bayer, Cloudian, CU Boulder Research Computing, DataDirect Networks, Maastricht University, MSC, the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NetApp, Quantum, RENCI, SURF, the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, SUSE, Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), University College London, University of Groningen, Utrecht University, the Wellcome Sanger Institute, and Western Digital.
$4 million will support continued innovation and problem-solving in the Southern data science community
National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced the second phase
of funding for the regional Big Data Innovation Hubs (Hubs). Each of
the Hubs will receive $4 million over four years for a total
investment of $16 million.
Each Hub is located in one of the four U.S. Census regions (South, Northeast, Midwest, and West) and serves as a thought leader and convening force on social and economic challenges that are unique to the region by playing four key roles: (1) Accelerating public-private partnerships that break down barriers between industry, academia, and government, (2) Growing R&D communities that connect data scientists with domain scientists and practitioners, (3) Facilitating data sharing and shared cyberinfrastructure and services, and (4) Building data science capacity for education and workforce development.
Consortium, the foundation
that leads development and support of the integrated Rule-Oriented
Data System (iRODS) data management software, welcomes University of
Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) Research Computing as its newest
Boulder Research Computing
provides computing and data beyond the desktop to CU Boulder
researchers and students. This includes large-scale computing
resources, storage of research data, high-speed data transfer, data
sharing support, and consultations in computational science and data
are filling fast for international gathering of data management
Users of the integrated Rule Oriented Data System (iRODS) will gather at Utrecht University in the Netherlands June 26-27 for an annual opportunity to discuss iRODS-enabled applications and discoveries.
Maastricht University, led by the efforts of DataHub Maastricht, which provides data management services to researchers from the university and academic hospital, has joined the iRODS Consortium, the foundation that leads development and support of the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS). Maastricht is the fourth organization from the Netherlands to join the consortium, after Utrecht University, the SURF cooperative and the University of Groningen.
Prototype ‘Translator’ system shows promise and has garnered much enthusiasm roughly one year into feasibility assessment
The newly formed Biomedical Data Translator Consortium today announced the release of two inaugural publications in Clinical and Translational Science. The first paper, “Toward a Universal Biomedical Data Translator,” describes the efforts of the Consortium to develop a ‘Translator’ system designed to integrate a variety of data sources and translate the data into insights that can drive innovation and accelerate translational research. The second paper, “The Biomedical Data Translator Program: Conception, Culture, and Community,” focuses on the scientific community that has coalesced to support the program and drive research and development of the prototype Translator system.
A new grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will fund operation of the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) virtual laboratory for the next two years and support researchers in planning a new infrastructure to replace GENI. The NSF allocated $1.7 million to the effort, called Enabling NeTwork Research and the Evolution of a Next Generation Midscale Research Infrastructure (ENTeR). The project will be jointly led by researchers from the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and their collaborators from the University of Kentucky (UK).
Project will create a model for advising NSF’s largest scientific facilities
The National Science Foundation today named the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a collaborating institution on a $3 million pilot project to create a model and strategic plan for a Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence (CI CoE). The goal of the effort is to establish a reservoir of expertise on best cyberinfrastructure practices for the nation’s largest research facilities.
100 Europa Drive Suite 540
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27517
RENCI (Renaissance Computing Institute) develops and deploys advanced technologies to enable research discoveries and practical innovations. RENCI partners with researchers, government, and industry to engage and solve the problems that affect North Carolina, our nation, and the world. An institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, RENCI was launched in 2004 as a collaboration involving UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University.