As part of its mission to support The Wistar Institute, the Center for Systems and Computational Biology (CSCB) provides comprehensive services to assist with every aspect of scientific computing. The CSCB offers consultations for scientific computing and data management. It also maintains a secure, highly available, and high performance scientific data storage and computation platform for the Institute. This includes network attached storage, tape archive, offsite data storage as well as high performance computing resources. Finally, the CSCB provides consultation and support for computers attached to scientific instruments.

CSCB Help Desk

The CSCB Help Desk is your first point of support for your scientific computing needs. Please contact the Center Help Desk with any questions regarding scientific computing, data storage, or problems with computers attached to scientific instruments. 

Contacting the CSCB Help Desk is easy, and the process is the same for any type of request: simply email with your questions and someone will respond to your request as soon as possible. 

Administrative and non-scientific computing support is handled by the Information Services group. This support includes Windows and Mac desktop support, printer maintenance, network connectivity and intranet problems. To contact the Information Services group, send an email to or call 215-898-3749.

Scientific Computing and Data Consultations

The Center can provide consultation and advice on purchases, computing and storage best practices, and how to best use Center resources to further your research goals.

Scientific Data Storage

Scientific data should always be stored in a secure location, and it is recommended that scientific data be stored within the Center's systems. The CSCB NAS and CSCB Archive are two resources which provide secure, high performance storage services to the Institute.

The CSCB NAS provides first tier shared drive functionality for storing scientific data. These shared drives can be mounted on Windows PCs, Macs, and Unix/Linux systems. It can accommodate any size dataset.

Second tier functionality is provided by the CSCB Archive system. The CSCB Archive system is a tape-based system that provides long term archive storage and near-line (less than 5 minutes in most cases) access to scientific datasets.

For more information and to apply for access to the CSCB NAS, see the Scientific Data Storage page.

Secure File Transfer

The Center maintains a secure file transfer application that allows institute users to securely send and receive large files from the Institute community and beyond through a simple web interface.

Cloud Computing

The Center provides a virtualized cloud platform for virtualized user desktops, web servers, or other types of computing resources. If you have an application that you would like to host at the Institute, contact the Center Help Desk.

High Performance Computing

The Center provides a high performance computing facility to users. This includes a parallel computing cluster as well as individual systems for CPU and memory intensive analysis. The Center also provides a comprehensive scientific software repository for use on the cluster and other CSCB systems.