OIR Mission

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The Office of Intramural Research (OIR) Scientific Computing Facility (SCF) collaborates with OIR staff and their NIH investigators to build a diverse and robust scientific computing system. This system provides the infrastructure needed by the collaborations at the same time as complying with all security, confidentiality and integrity requirements, especially those concerned with storing PII and other sensitive data. The SCF manages hardware refreshes and software upgrades allowing collaborators to work uninterrupted. Expert staff are able to provide centralised support and advice to enable the best use of resources in support of OIR's research program.

As a central part of a computational science research and development organization, the SCF acts as OIR's computational laboratory, contributing on many of OIR's collaborative efforts and providing many NIH investigators and leaders with a key resource. The SCF supports some 80 OIR staff and collaborators across approximately 100 systems, running a variety of web services, databases, file storage, computational clusters and large core count single image machines. The SCF has separate racks for machines used for storing and processing sensitive information, such as personal health information and grant information, with appropriate extra layers of protection.

A common and federated environment across all computational systems, enables OIR staff to quickly build the data analysis tools they need
throughout the lifetime of a collaboration. Common file systems, unified authentication, system management, and other system coordinating features are fully integrated into an infrastructure containing the required variety of supporting software. Commodity hardware, free software and commercial software are integrated into efficient and sustainable solutions.

SCF Staff perform the many common security, maintenance, backup and reporting tasks that are required for the day to day operation of scientific computational systems on behalf of OIR. In particular, managing the Federally mandated Certification and Accreditation process on OIR's Computational Facility that would otherwise be a significant burden to OIR developers and investigators as well as their collaborators. When an collaborative project is concluded, the SCF is central in relocating systems to space within the ICs or the CIT Data Center as appropriate.

In collaboration with NHLBI, the SCF provides strategic outreach to the wider Linux community at NIH, working with CIT to provide infrastructure support. Over the last 5 years we have developed AD integration configurations, stand-alone server configurations, two-factor authentication solutions, NFS/Krb5 integrations, as well as general Linux support for the NHLBI Division of Intramural Research.

In 2017, supported collaborations include:

. The Human Salivary Protein Catalog, with NIDCR, supporting the
Salivary Proteome community.

. Molecular Structure Determination (NIDDK, NIDCR, NCI, NHLBI).

. The Center for Molecular Modeling's MMIGNET programme supporting NIH
as a whole.

. Microarray Database System (mAdb) with NCI and NIAID.

. Portfolio analysis and portfolio visualization resources supporting
many groups throughout NIH, including OD, CSR and NIGMS.

. an Assisted Referral Tool (ART) project, with the Center for
Scientific Review (CSR) to help NIH grant applicants choose
appropriate study sections for their applications.

. OIR's SCORHE (System for Continuous Observation of Rodents in
Home-cage Environment) project.

. A collaborative effort with NHLBI to design and execute a program
which computes billions of SNP-gene expression association tests,
in an effort to find expression - single nucleotide polymorphisms,
eSNPs. Efforts so far are producing a 20-fold speed up over
previous efforts.

. A joint project, with NCI and a NCI-funded consortium, implementing
an analysis pipeline and providing the necessary bioinformatics
tools for transcriptome analysis and biological interpretation of
RNA-seq/Exon capture data from next generation sequencing.

. A joint project with NHLBI and other ICs to provide a nexus of
computational system administration support and set policies and
standards for NIH.