Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


Major funding boost for ProCan “Super Computer’’


A key part of the Children’s Medical Research Institute’s ProCan® project is closer to being realised, following the announcement of a research equipment grant from Cancer Institute NSW.

The $910,000 boost will go towards a high-performance computing platform for cancer proteogenomic research – which will make the whole ProCan project possible.
ProCan General Manager, Dr Brett Tully, who is also lead of the ProCan Software Engineering Team, said the funding will go towards their “super computer’’.
“Very few institutes get a piece of equipment for one particular project like this,’’ Dr Tully said. “This has been designed primarily for ProCan, but it is a real collaboration among many partner organisations.’’
The concept behind ProCan is to analyse the proteins, or proteomes, from tens of thousands of cancer samples. They would then be compared with others, to produce a profile and a unique treatment plan in a relatively short time frame. In order to do this, CMRI needs a high performance computing platform.
“This will allow us to get that data into a format for clinicians to look at, without it the whole project would be very difficult.’’
CMRI has been working closely with Harbour IT, Canon, HP, Red Hat and Intel to design the unique system. Canon Managing Director, Yusuke Mizoguchi, visited the Institute’s Westmead head office on Wednesday to get an update on the ProCan project.
Dr Tully said they were planning to start the next phase of ProCan work, and hope to put the super computer to work in January, 2018.
“We’ve being working on getting the Standard Operating Procedures established and now we can consider the next phase,’’ Dr Tully said. “Next year we will be ramping up what we’re doing. Getting the funding for this computer infrastructure is really key.’’
CMRI is hoping that, through its annual Christmas appeal with support from donors, the remaining funds for the project can be raised.

Read more about ProCan.