The distinguished HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Award, in the category Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences was presented to PRACE, CEA and GENCI at the 2019 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC19), in Denver, Colorado. Tom Tabor, CEO of Tabor Communications, publisher of HPCwire, personally handed over the award to representatives from PRACE – Serge Bogaerts (PRACE Managing Director); CEA – Jacques-Charles Lafoucriere (CEA/DAM HPC program Director) and GENCI – Philippe Lavocat (CEO – GENCI), at the PRACE booth (#2171).

A French research team led by Dr Luc Bergé, (Director of research at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) CEA used for the CAPITOL project a PRACE allocation  of 24.1 million core hours on GENCI’s Curie machine (hosted at TGCC, CEA, France) to explore by means of different massively parallel numerical codes new physical mechanisms converting ultra-intense laser light into various photon and particle sources ranging from terahertz to X-rays through laser-plasma interactions, which could lead to breakthrough in high-resolution medical imaging and detection of breast and skin cancer tumors.

Dr Luc Bergé ‘s research work was featured in the PRACE Digest of 2018 (page 8)

“PRACE is honoured to receive the HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’Choice Award for Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences. This award acknowledges the endeavour of PRACE as a Research Infrastructure to support excellence in Science. PRACE is proud to have enabled the scientific achievements of the CAPITOL project led by Dr Luc Bergé of CEA addressing one of the society’s grand challenges and bringing us all into a brighter future,” said Serge Bogaerts, PRACE Managing Director.

“Dr Luc Bergé of CEA has been leading a project that explores the limits of what can be done using state-of-the-art light sources in terms of particle acceleration and secondary radiation,” saidJacques-Charles Lafoucrière, CEA.

New possibilities for medical imaging and other applications are becoming accessible with the advent of powerful laser sources delivering more intense and ultrashort optical pulses.

"Enhancing our ability to early detect tumours is fundamental for good prognosis and fast recovery. The research done in the CAPITOL project and carried out at the Curie resources is crucial to improve the algorithms to perform faster and more robust clinical assessments," said Núria López, Chair of the PRACE Scientific Steering Committee.

“We are very happy to receive this award as it is rewarding an initiative initiated almost 5 years ago. This award demonstrates the increasing interest in HPC computing and related resources allowing us to bridge different physical fields such as nonlinear optics, plasma physics and biophysics for important societal applications,addedLuc Bergé, CEA.

“GENCI together with PRACE work to enable the best scientific projects from French and European researchers access the best supercomputers at European level available through the PRACE infrastructure. We also would like to congratulate the entire French research team CAPITOL led by Luc Bergé, of CEA, who has made a superb breakthrough in the modeling and improvement of photon sources at the forefront of cancer tumor detection, thanks to a PRACE allocation on our CURIE supercomputer,” said Philippe Lavocat, CEO GENCI.

About the HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards

The coveted annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards are determined through a nomination and voting process with the global HPCwire community, as well as selections from the HPCwire editors. The awards are an annual feature of the publication and constitute prestigious recognition from the HPC community. These awards are revealed each year to kick off the annual supercomputing conference, which showcases high performance computing, networking, storage, and data analysis.



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PRACE Research Infrastructure provides a persistent world-class High-Performance Computing service for scientists and researchers from academia and industry in Europe. The computer systems and their operations accessible through PRACE are provided by five PRACE members (BSC representing Spain, CINECA representing Italy, ETH Zurich/CSCS representing Switzerland, GCS representing Germany and GENCI representing France). The Implementation Phase of PRACE receives funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (2014-2020) under grant agreement 823767. For more information, see


About CEA

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation in four main areas: defence and security, low carbon energies (nuclear and renewable energies), technological research for industry, fundamental research in the physical sciences and life sciences. Drawing on its widely acknowledged expertise, the CEA actively participates in collaborative projects with a large number of academic and industrial partners.



GENCI, National Equipment Intensive Computing, is a civil society owned 49% by the State, represented by the Ministry of Higher Education of Research and Innovation (MESRI), 20% by the CEA, 20 % by the CNRS, 10% by the Universities and 1% by Inria. Born from the political desire to place France at the best European and international level in the field of intensive computing, with the weight of the association of main actors of the academic research and the support of the public authorities, GENCI pursues three great missions since its creation in 2007: to finance and coordinate the implementation of a strategic plan of equipment of national centers of computation intensive for the civil research; to be a major player in the organization and the realization of a European space for intensive computing for research (as such, GENCI represents France within PRACE); to promote simulation and intensive computing in basic and industrial research. For moreinformation: