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From the Deputy Director, Spring 2021

IDSC Launches New Grants Programs with 6 Interdisciplinary Awards

by Ben Kirtman

February 1, 2021

from the deputy director

To support data-intensive scientific projects in multiple disciplines, IDSC has launched new Grants Programs, with awards to six University of Miami researchers. Our goal is to advance scientific knowledge through collaborative projects that can benefit from our institute’s powerful computation and analytic resources. In addition, these grants demonstrate the growing importance of data science and computing in addressing highly complex issues in many fields.

Below are the recipients of this year’s awards, which includes access to the Triton Supercomputer. The next round of awards will be offered in fall 2021.

Type 1 Diabetes

Midhat H. Abdulreda, PhD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Diabetes Research Institute, received a grant for “Very-Large-Scale Predictive Integration of Multi-Omics Datasets and High-Dimensional Pattern Discoveries of Integrated Biomarker Signatures of Type 1 Diabetes.”  This project focuses on biomarker discovery by extracting meaningful information from  large datasets obtained from multiple sources.

Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions

Shane Elipot, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Ocean Sciences, will focus on “Applying Machine Learning Tools to Investigate Oceanic Heat Transport and Ocean Currents and Temperatures Predictions.” He will study the relationships between sea surface currents and the sea surface temperatures for a better understanding of oceanic heat transport.

Biological Algorithms

Amanda Myers, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science uses large multi-layered molecular datasets to study issues related to Alzheimer’s disease, genetics and other topics. Her project, “BNOmics (Bayesian network reconstruction algorithms and software) Cloud,” aims to developing a user-friendly platform for  biology ’omics analysis.

Ultra-Durable Concrete

Luis Ruiz-Pestana, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering will focus on, “Learning How Colloidal Glasses Age: A Step Towards the Rational Design of Ultra-Durable Concrete.” The project could help lower cement consumption by extending the lifetime of infrastructure with positive environmental results.

Viruses and Marine Bacteria

Cynthia Silveira, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, will study the interactions of marine microbial communities in her project, “Global Oceanographic Patterns of Viruses Infecting Marine Bacteria.” Her goal is to better understand the molecular mechanisms as well as their ecosystem outcomes in coral-associated microbiomes.

Predicting Glaucoma Progression

Swarup Swaminathan, PhD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, and Cataract and Glaucoma Specialist, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, will advance his imaging research in glaucoma through his project, “Bayesian Linear Mixed Modeling in Predicting Glaucomatous Disease Progression.” He will use data from electronic health records and high-performance computing-dependent statistical methodologies to develop improved personalized estimates of glaucomatous progression.

These six projects were chosen from a total of 13 applications in a wide variety of fields on all three campuses.

Congratulations to all recipients!


Ben Kirtman, PhD
idsc deputy director  |  director, idsc earth systems


For further information on the IDSC Grants Program, visit



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