In the current era of personalized medicine and precision oncology, genomic information holds the key to developing novel and more effective cancer therapies. And, recent technological advances have led to massive amounts of genomic data being collected from thousands of tumors and dozens of cancer types. However, the lack of tools and resources to efficiently handle, process, analyze and share large genomic datasets presents a significant barrier to capitalizing on these data and realizing the promise of personalized medicine. The University of Chicago is a national leader in overcoming these challenges.
The National Cancer Institute’s Genomic Data Commons (GDC), housed at the University of Chicago Center for Data Intensive Science (CDIS), providing the cancer research community with a unified data repository that enables data sharing across cancer genomic studies in support of precision medicine. Not just a database or tool, the GDC is an expandable knowledge network supporting the import and standardization of genomic and clinical data from cancer research programs.
The GDC went live in June 2016 with approximately 4.1 petabytes of data from more than 14,000 anonymized patient cases from the largest and most comprehensive cancer genomic datasets, including The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Therapies (TARGET).
UChicago developed and operates the GDC with NCI funding under a subcontract from Leidos Biomedical Research at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, in collaboration with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. The GDC is led by CDIS director Robert Grossman, PhD.
The Bionimbus Protected Data Cloud (PDC) is a secure biomedical cloud for analyzing and sharing protected datasets. A collaboration between the University of Chicago Center for Data Intensive Science and the Open Commons Consortium, the Bionimbus PDC allows users authorized by NIH to analyze human genomic data in a secure compliant fashion.
The Center for Research Informatics (CRI), directed by Samuel Volchenboum, MD, PhD, provides the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division (BSD) with informatics resources, services, and expertise to enable world-class research. The CRI provides state-of-the-art technologies for working with research data—from acquisition and storage to analysis and sharing – and its resources are secure, standards-compliant, and open to all members of the BSD. CRI staff collaborates with scientists through all stages of their projects, handling clinical, translational, and basic science data with the highest level of efficiency and security, as well as creating easily-accessible opportunities for training and education.