Supercomputer power to fight COVID-19

PRACE awards 195 million core hours to trap and defeat SARS-CoV-2 – and more to come!

PRACE  has recently launched a fast track call for proposal for projects requesting computing resources to contribute to the mitigation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some possible topics are:

 

  • Biomolecular research to understand the mechanisms of the virus infection
  • Bioinformatics research to understand mutations, evolution, etc.
  • Bio-simulations to develop therapeutics and/or vaccines
  • Epidemiologic analysis to understand and forecast the spread of the disease
  • Other analyses to understand and mitigate the impact of the pandemic

 

Proposals will be evaluated by the Scientific Committee established by PRACE, following a Fast Track review process to provide swift feedback to the applicants. All details about the application are available on PRACE website.

 

Currently, ten projects have been awarded under the Fast Track Call for Proposals to support the mitigation of the impact of the pandemic. And this is only the beginning, as the call is open until further notice. By providing its huge computational power – 195 000 000 core hours –PRACE is joining the battle against COVID-19. The studies awarded by PRACE independently analyzed a number of proteins encoded by SARS-CoV-2 genes, compared them with proteins from other coronaviruses, predicted their structures and built 19 structures that could analyzed via homology modeling.

 

These projects will provide new lead compounds and targets for further in vitro and in vivo studies of SARS-CoV-2 (virus strain causing coronavirus disease COVID-19), new insights for those drugs currently undergoing clinical studies and also possible new strategies for drug repositioning to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections.

All this is possible thanks to one of the most powerful tools for finding possible medicines and inhibitors: virtual ligand screening and virtual drug design. Both techniques directly use supercomputer simulations, extreme-scale supercomputing simulations, that can only be performed on supercomputers with tens of thousands of cores. PRACE provides just such supercomputers to the research community.

 

Read more about the first 10 “HPCvsVirus” projects awarded here

 

Photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash