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Helix Scientific Computing

Getting Started

To order or inquire about this service, please contact the NIH IT Service Desk.

Service Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More Info

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The NIH Helix System is a high-performance computer running Linux that provides a comprehensive set of scientific applications and biomedical databases tailored to the needs of NIH researchers.

Customer Benefits

Helix provides and maintains a full suite of scientific applications and databases, including tools for sequence analysis, linkage analysis, phylogenetic analysis, microarray analysis, gene regulation and pathways, computational chemistry, molecular modeling, structural biology, mathematical analysis, proteomics, image analysis, molecular graphics, program development, and scientific databases.
Licensed applications include Analyze, Huygens, IDL, IMSL library, Mathematica, Matlab (including Simulink, Bioinformatics, Curve Fitting, Image Processing, Neural Network, Optimization, Partial Differential Equation, Signal Processing, SimBiology, Spline, Statistics, Symbolic Math, System Identification, and Wavelet toolboxes), and the Cambridge Structural database. Helix users also have access to Sciware to run scientific applications directly on their desktop Windows, Mac, and Linux workstations.

Customer Market


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How do I obtain a Helix account?
A:  Your Account Sponsor can request one by using the WebSponsor online form at (The Account Sponsor is the person in your lab or office who is responsible for the CIT account to which your Helix account will be billed). If you, your lab, or office do not have a CIT account, you will need to complete the CIT account authorization ( to set one up.
The Helix User registration and CIT account authorization forms are also available from the NIH IT Service Desk, which can be reached at 301-496-4357. Fax your completed form to (301) 402-7349.
Q: Who is my Account Sponsor?
A:  If you don't know who your Account Sponsor is, go to the web page at, select your Institute/Center from the Account Sponsors and Alternates list, and click the Display button. This will display all the Account Sponsors for your Institute/Center, and you may be able to identify the appropriate person from the list. Otherwise, talk to your supervisor, or call the NIH IT Service Desk at 301-496-4357 for assistance.
Q: How much does a Helix account cost?
A: The current charges can be seen at
Q: I've forgotten my Helix password.  How do I reset it?
A: Your Helix username and password are the same as your NIH Login and password. You can reset your password by contacting the NIH IT Service Desk or use to reset or unlock your account.
Q: How do I log on to Helix?
A: All interactive connections must use SSH. SSH is available by default on Macs and Linux/UNIX machines. Users running Windows must install and run an SSH client, such as PuTTY or X-Win32.  See for more information.
Q: How can I find out about recent changes and announcements at Helix?
A: You can subscribe to our RSS feed at, or see our News & Announcement page at


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This page last reviewed: March 09, 2011