[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The IB VRE project is a JISC funded project developing a large-scale Virtual Research Environment demonstrator to investigate the use of existing collaboration frameworks to support the entire research process of a large-scale, international research consortium, namely that of the Integrative Biology (IB) project. IB is a second-round EPSRC e-Science Pilot project developing a Grid infrastructure to support post-genomic research in integrative biology, demanding a comprehensive range of research-support and grid-enabled tools and services. The IB community seek to further both their performance through collaboration addressing heart modelling and cancer modelling. IB VRE aims to provide a single, integrated environment supporting the entire research process from experimental and simulated data generation, acquisition, analysis and curation, through access to HPC and experimental resources, to project management, administration, and learning and teaching support tools. IB VRE is based on a WSRP and JSR168 compliant portal container allowing tool reuse (e.g. those provided by OGCE 2.0) and has a layered architecture. A key component is the support provided for the "research process" – including the "work" aspect of the process as determined by workflows, and the "social" aspects, by using existing tools for collaboration and project management. This paper outlines the motivations, usage scenarios and technical architecture proposed for this environment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Integrative Biology project is building a Grid infrastructure which will enable biomedical scientists to develop accurate multi-scale computational models of the heart and of cancer tumours. This infrastructure will remove many of the constraints limiting research progress today by providing access to leading-edge supercomputing and data management resources and by improving facilities to support collaboration between scientists distributed around the world. This paper describes how the project is addressing some specific technical challenges in developing such a collaborative research environment.