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NCI Earmarks $2M in FY 2008 for Cancer Genome Atlas Data Analysis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – the National Cancer Institute plans to award around $2 million in fiscal year 2008 to support new data analysis and visualization technologies for the Cancer Genome Atlas project.
In a request for applications published Friday titled “Advanced Genomic Data Analysis and Visualization Methods for the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Data,” NCI said that it plans to award between six and 10 grants to applications that “describe exploratory projects aimed at the development of highly innovative and novel advanced genomic data analysis methods and visualization technologies.” 
The RFA is a component of the Cancer Genome Atlas Pilot Project, which is testing the technical feasibility and clinical relevance of a large-scale analysis of genomic variation in human cancers.
NCI said that the purpose of the RFA is “to stimulate the development of new and improved computational and statistical tools for integrative analysis of the TCGA data sets covering alterations in the cancer genome, epigenome, and/or transcriptome … and linked pathological/clinical information.”
Genomic alterations include somatic mutations, changes in DNA segment copy number, translocations, loss of heterozygosity, epigenomic modifications, and gene expression profiles from multiple platforms.
The development of methods for analyzing TCGA data to reveal previously unknown associations between genomic alterations, pathways, and cancer is of “particular interest,” NCI said.
“Whereas high-throughput, cost-effective technologies to survey specific types of genomic level alterations exist, there is a great need for significantly improved methods to perform cross-platform analyses on genomic level alterations through unbiased, unsupervised queries,” NCI said. “There is also a need for meta-analysis tools that would perform integrative analysis of genomic level alteration data derived from different platforms with clinical and non-genomic data.”
Applications are due Dec. 10.