Cold Spring Harbor, NY — The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $50 million to investigators at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and other members of the multi-institution iPlant collaborative headquartered at the University of Arizona’s BIO5 Institute to create a national cyberinfrastructure for the biological sciences.
“The renewal grant for the iPlant Collaborative will allow scientists around the world to use proven computational tools to analyze very large datasets to efficiently address questions of global importance, advancing the understanding of biology beyond which any individual research group is capable,” says Doreen Ware, Ph.D. of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and a CSHL Adjunct Associate Professor.
Ware serves as a Co-Principal Investigator for iPlant, and the Site Lead for CSHL. Along with other CSHL investigators, she will help to align the development of iPlant infrastructure to meet scientific priorities which include targeting applications to support genotype-to-phenotype research. CSHL, under David Micklos, executive director of the DNA Learning Center, will also lead iPlant’s Education, Outreach, and Training efforts and organize the education of research and teaching faculty who are making use of iPlant resources.
The original iPlant grant, lasting five years and also amounting to $50 million, began in 2008. It was among the largest grants ever awarded by the NSF in the biological sciences. Other “partner” sites working alongside the University of Arizona in the renewed grant, besides CSHL, are the University of Texas, Austin, and the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
Over the past five years, iPlant’s team has canvassed the national and international plant research community, asking about the computational and data-based challenges they face in research. Based on this community input, the team created a set of technologies to connect scientists to needed computational resources and to collaborators with expertise, in order to accelerate the pace of their research. The iPlant tools and services are being adopted by a broad range of life science researchers in need of high performance computing for big data analysis and management. These tools and services also are being used in innovative approaches to education, outreach and the study of social networks.
The iPlant Collaborative is a virtual organization led from the University of Arizona, the University of Texas at Austin, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington, with participants from institutions around the nation and the world. iPlant is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation with a large team located at UA’s BIO5 Institute.
The BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona mobilizes top researchers in agriculture, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, and science to find creative solutions to humanity’s most pressing health and environmental challenges. Learn more at BIO5.org.
About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit www.cshl.edu