Empowering Life Scientists: PerMedCoE/BioExcel HPC Course Ignites Collaboration and Advancement in Personalized Medicine

The PerMedCoE/BioExcel “Introduction to HPC for Life Scientists” course, held on March 7-8, 2023 in Barcelona, has been a significant success. The event attracted participants including life science researchers, method developers, and HPC experts, demonstrating its relevance to the goals of the PerMedCoE project. The course also provided some participants with travel grants in order to ensure universal access. Grant beneficiaries and course participants highlighted the course’s impact on the scientific community. Alejandro García remarked “The course has opened my eyes to the potential of HPC in my research field,”.

The course aligned with the overarching goals of the PerMedCoE project by focusing on key areas such as optimizing four core applications for cell-level simulations to the new pre-exascale platforms. Participant Egor Marin, a PhD student at the University of Groningen, commented, “Gaining hands-on experience with GROMACS and PhysiCell has given me the confidence to optimize my research projects for HPC environments.”

Moreover, the event played a crucial role in integrating PerMed into the new European HPC/Exascale ecosystem. By offering access to HPC/Exascale-adapted and optimized software, the course has helped lay a strong foundation for the future of personalized medicine research. Valentin Gradisteanu, another participant, stated, “How to do is as important as what to do. Make the best out of the computer power available to you.”

The comprehensive set of PerMed use cases presented during the course served as a valuable resource, illustrating the practical applications of HPC in life sciences. The hands-on practical sessions enabled participants to experience the power of HPC firsthand, fostering a deeper understanding of the technology. “As a scientist with a molecular biology background, I found this course as a smooth way to conceptualise high performance computing and its applications in life sciences.” shared Gokce Senger, another participant.

Lastly, the course contributed to the sustainability of PerMedCoE by coordinating PerMed and HPC communities and reaching out to industrial and academic end-users. Through use cases, training, expertise, and best practices, the course has promoted collaboration and knowledge exchange among professionals in the field.

The success of the “Introduction to HPC for Life Scientists” course reflects the overall impact of the PerMedCoE project in bridging the gap between molecular- and organ-level simulations. By connecting method developers with HPC experts, and collaborating with biomedical consortia and pre-exascale infrastructures, PerMedCoE is paving the way for groundbreaking advancements in personalized medicine.