How technology helps a research-intensive medical school secure grants and attract top scientists

Scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have made major contributions to biomedical research with the support of its partners at IBM.

How technology helps a research-intensive medical school secure grants and attract top scientists

By Dave McDonnell, global solutions leader, IBM StorageFor more than 60 years, the diverse faculty and staff of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have set the standard for excellence in medical and graduate education and patient-centered clinical care. Scientists have made major contributions to biomedical research that have enhanced human health in areas such as developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and more. During 2021, Einstein received more than $185 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Part of NIH's criteria for bestowing grants is how applicants adhere to NIH FAIR guiding principles for research data stewardship (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability), which have become a cornerstone of research in the life sciences industry.

Biomedical research generates enormous data sets because it includes so many files representing the building blocks of life — such as elements, atoms, molecules, amino acids, DNA (genomes), and proteins.Meeting researchers' demanding data storage requirementsEinstein partners with IBM to help meet the NIH standards and manage these huge data sets. Its high-performance computing environment includes the efficient IBM Elastic Storage System (ESS), which simplifies storage management and eliminates data silos, as well as IBM Spectrum Scale software to help manage and secure billions of objects per backup server. The IBM storage infrastructure solution easily supports the demanding requirements of Einstein's large research community."A leading-edge infrastructure helps us attract top research talent," said Shailesh Shenov, assistant dean for Einstein Information Technology.

Spencer Lowell Saving money while going greenEinstein counts on IBM ESS to reduce inefficiency and acquisition costs by consolidating storage requirements from the edge to the core data center. IBM Spectrum Scale software features an auto-tiering feature that moves less frequently used data to IBM Tape, which only powers up when it is accessed."Spectrum Scale's tiering technology has saved us millions of dollars," added Shenov. "Nothing can compete with the price point, shelf life, or density of IBM Tape.

Furthermore, the tiering contributes to our sustainability initiatives because tape storage only consumes power during reads or writes."Increasing NIH FAIR data maturityThe college also employs a multi-site backup and disaster recovery strategy to safeguard its research workloads and ensure availability. In fact, Einstein recently added another data center on a different power grid to progress further in the NIH FAIR Data Maturity Model as set forth by the Research Data Alliance. Having this data center allows Einstein to continue operations and have protected data even if all three of its Bronx computing sites shut down.

This is yet another competitive differentiator for the college, contributing to its ability to access government funding for research.Because it deals with highly regulated healthcare data, Einstein added IBM Data Guardium Protection to automate compliance auditing and reporting and monitor user activity. "Having auditable results increases the confidence in the Einstein scientific process. Research papers can be published faster, which also contributes to earning more grant dollars," Shenov continued.Collaborating with the right partnersEinstein has realized the importance of collaborating with the right partners to support its breakthrough research: "IBM and its partner, DST, have listened to us, understood our needs, and collaborated with us to evolve and continuously improve our data management discipline.

Together we have solved problems and addressed priorities for the past five years."What's next for Einstein? "Our next breakthroughs and discoveries remain to be seen," concluded Shenov. "But one thing is certain — we'll be moving ahead with the IBM/DST team — our true partners and technical advisors."Learn more about how you can leverage a leading-edge technology infrastructure.This post was created by IBM with Insider Studios.