Hu Yoshida

Queensland Brain Institute Pushes Technology To The Limit

Blog Post created by Hu Yoshida Employee on Sep 12, 2017

Researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) work to discover the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the ability of the adult brain to generate new nerve cells and form functional connections.  A research team from the Queensland Brain Institute in Australia is working on a breakthrough treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia that takes the lives of more than 40 million people worldwide each year, with an estimated treatment cost of $600 billion. QBI’s treatment is unique in that it makes use of non-invasive high-frequency ultrasound—not drugs—to clear a path for blood proteins to enter the brain and clear out clusters of lesions that cause memory loss and a decline in cognitive functions in Alzheimer’s patients. This may not only cure Alzheimer’s but may reverse its effects. Successful trials were run on mice, but more research had to be done before a human trial can begin due to the thickness of the human skull.



This involves the capture, indexing, storing, sharing and archiving a tremendous amount of data that includes DICOM for human model data, NGS Genome sequencing data, electrophysiology which is the study of the movement of electrical charges in biological tissues, and high end super res + confocal microscopy. Imaging is the biggest driver of data growth and research techniques such as confocal microscopy can quickly eat up gigabytes and gigabytes of data space. Resolutions of images in whole brain imaging workloads can create 140,000 pixels by 70,000 pixels per image.


QBI is storing about 7 petabytes of structured and unstructured data. Oracle HSM, Hitachi Accelerated Flash, Hitachi’s VSP G series arrays, and Brocade Gen 6 fibre channel switches help deliver the storage infrastructure needs of the researchers.

Jake Carroll is the senior IT manager (research) at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) and he is constantly pushing the boundaries of technology to keep up with this deluge of data and the users of this data. In this research environment, faster and more precise scientific instrumentation is constantly being developed which could double or triple the data load in a matter of months.


We were hoping to have Jake Carroll present "Delivering High-Throughput Science with Brocade Gen 6 Fibre Channel and Hitachi Flash Storage " at the Hitachi NEXT 2017 event at 4:50pm on Wednesday September 20 in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, he will not be able to attend, so Corin O'Connell of Brocade and I will present the QBI story.


If you were fortunate enough to get a ticket to this event, please attend this session. We are very pleased to be supporting QBI in their research to cure Alzheimers.