COVID-19 Updates from TACC

Scientists worldwide apply supercomputing resources to save lives and accelerate search for a cure.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world's scientific community together in an effort to understand, track, forecast, test for, and find cures for the virus. Tens of thousands of researchers from public, private, and state bodies are working tirelessly to find effective treatment methods.

Supercomputers provide scientists with additional capabilities: allowing them to accomplish in days or weeks the kind of epidemic forecasting and drug design capabilities that typically take months or years.

The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is home to the most powerful collection of supercomputers at any university in the world. The center is one of the leading providers in the White House-led COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) Consortium, supporting projects and researchers worldwide.

As part of its efforts, TACC is working closely with teams to enable COVID-19 research and to provide priority access to TACC resources. Researchers are using TACC systems to model the effects of interventions, simulate molecular behavior, screen new drugs and vaccines, and visualize and interactively share data with decision-makers and collaborators to speed progress.

TACC has partnered with the UT Modeling Consortium to launch the COVID-19 Pandemic Portal to forecast the spread of infections and communicate risk to the public, and is collaborating with the Drug Discovery Consortium to identify the most promising drug-like and test them in high-containment laboratories. New projects are launching weekly.

TACC salutes the heroic scientists, health care workers, first responders, and civic leaders at the frontlines, and is proud to enable their important work through the COVID-19 portal.

Preliminary results from a UT Austin model suggest, without strict limits on daily contacts, COVID-19 may overwhelm Austin-area hospitals.

Three main ways computational researchers are responding to the pandemic:
  • Computational epidemiology — modeling the spread of the virus and the impact a pandemic could have on critical social services (police, fire, healthcare, etc.) in communities, regions, and countries.
  • Investigations of proteins and molecules — investigating the structure of the virus, and virtually identifying and testing potential antiviral drugs.
  • Genomic analysis — supporting vaccine development, predicting which patients are likely to be at high risk, and providing a better understanding of the origin and structure of the virus genome.


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