Buchanan Group Teams with Baker Lab to Speed Development of COVID-19 Vaccine

Joey Amato | April 9, 2020

Buchanan Group and Flanner Buchanan today announced that the organization’s disaster recovery servers are being dedicated to a distributed computing project run by the Baker Lab at the University of Washington which may be integral in quickly developing a vaccine for COVID-19.

The servers will be supporting Rosetta@home, a project used to predict protein structure which operates on the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) platform and is managed by the Baker Lab.

“The basic goal of the program is to predict protein, protein docking and design new proteins,” explained John Meyer, Buchanan Group VP of Technology, “Baker Lab has an impressive history with this technology, which puts them in a unique position to swiftly develop a vaccine for COVID-19,” said Meyer, explaining: “However, this means processing a great deal of data. With the Rosetta@home distributed computing model, a bunch of small processing projects quickly add up to a giant project that could not have been done easily by a single organization. That’s why Baker Lab has called out to anyone who can help process data, and we are honored to join the fight.”

Buchanan Group’s disaster recovery servers are constantly updated with backup information to prepare for a disaster; however, the processing capabilities of these systems during daily operations is largely underutilized. In the partnership with BOINC, Buchanan Group has provided these servers as dedicated systems running protein analysis software. They are now operating at 100% utilization of 24 dedicated processor cores—added bandwidth which may be critical in the race against time to analyze, understand and defeat the novel coronavirus.

“Serving families remains our greatest priority, and Buchanan Group is ready to activate our disaster recovery systems in the event of an outage or any other emergency,” said Bruce Buchanan, Buchanan Group fourth-generation owner. “This new partnership will not impact our daily operations at all. Our electric bill may increase slightly—but a vaccination is something that could save millions of lives. It’s a small price to pay.”

Help is still needed, as a staggering amount of data will require continuous processing throughout this initiative. Those interested can learn more and take action at https://flannerbuchanan.com/partnering-with-baker-lab-at-university-of-washington-to-speed-development-of-covid-19-vaccine/.