April 29, 2013

PSC, Notre Dame to Supply Computer Infrastructure for Global Malaria Eradication Project

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) and the University of Notre Dame have received up to $1.6 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a system of computers and software for the Vector Ecology and Control Network (VECNet), an international consortium to eradicate malaria. The new VECNet Cyber-Infrastructure Project (CI) will support VECNet’s effort to unite research, industrial and public policy efforts to attack one of the worst diseases in the developing world in more effective, economical ways.

“VECNet is about bringing order out of chaos,” says Tom Burkot, VECNet’s principal investigator and professor and tropical leader at James Cook University, Australia. “The challenge we have is that we’re trying to control and eliminate malaria in a world in which, for example, there are 40 or 50 dominant mosquito species that are important for its spread.” The CI project, he adds, is intended to decrease the complexity of engaging in the problem so that malaria researchers, national malaria control officials, product developers, and policy makers can all contribute to solutions.