Acquisition of a High Performance Parallel Computer
Anthony Auerbach Principal Investigator
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The proposed projects that will benefit from a high performance parallel computer are concerned with the molecular mechanisms of excitability in nerve, muscle, and other cells. Dr. Anthony Auerbach will study the kinetic properties of single ion channel currents elicited by the neurotransmitters acetylcholine or glutamate. Dr. Donald Faber will carry out computer modeling of synaptic currents in conjunction with experimental studies of central glycinergic synapses. Dr. Frederick Sachs will study the structure and dynamics of mechanosensitive ion channels as seen by high resolution image processing of membrane patches. A long term goal of these studies is to understand the molecular processes by which cells regulate ionic fluxes in response to environmental stimuli such as the presence of neurotransmitter molecules of membrane tension. They all require computationally- intense algorithms include matrix operations, Monte Carlo simulations, and three dimensional image processing (deconvolution and tomographic reconstruction). Acquisition of a parallel computer capable of sustaining at least 150 MFLOPS will significantly expedite these calculations.