UCL News


International Supercomputing Conference Award

5 April 2006

The UCL-led high-end computing project SPICE has won the 2006 International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) Award in the Life Sciences category.

ISC 2006 takes place in Dresden, Germany, 27 to 30 June 2006, with the award talk and prize presentation on 29 June 2006.

SPICE (Simulated Pore Interactive Computing Environment) is advancing our understanding of the vital translocation process of DNA across membrane-bound protein channel pores in biological cells. It uses sophisticated grid infrastructure to facilitate novel analysis techniques.

The project's principal investigator, Professor Peter Coveney (UCL Chemistry and UCL Computer Science), said: "SPICE shows how the power of grids of supercomputers can be harnessed to simulate and visualise biological processes of unprecedented complexity."

SPICE uses technology developed under Professor Coveney's RealityGrid project to marshal the large numbers of supercomputers and visualisation engines on the UK National Grid Service (NGS) and the US TeraGrid, connected by dedicated high bandwidth optical networks. Even with the resources of this grid-of-grids to hand, the translocation problem is too large to be addressed by conventional computational methods.

SPICE is jointly funded by the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) as one component of a bi-national collaboration to exploit state-of-the-art optical networks to tackle scientific problems that would otherwise remain out of reach.

SPICE also won an inaugural High Performance Computing Analytics Challenge Award at Supercomputing 2005 in Seattle, USA.