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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Awards $3.8M in Grants for Open-Source Biomedical Software Projects

NEW YORK — The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) said on Wednesday that it has awarded $3.8 million in funding to support nearly two dozen projects developing open-source software for biomedical research.

Among the grant recipients are a Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie-led team developing a resource to streamline trajectory inference from single-cell omics data by improving integration with upstream and downstream analysis pipelines; researchers from the Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas who are spearheading an effort to release an improved version of the Environment for Tree Exploration toolkit for phylogenomic data analysis and visualization; and a Duke University-led effort to expand the Open mHealth, a mobile health data interoperability platform, so that it can enable the discovery of biomarkers.

Other projects receiving CZI support are a Broad Institute-led initiative to develop a plugin framework for Htsjdk, a Java API for high-throughput sequencing data formats, that will support emerging sequencing technologies; a Roswell Park Alliance Foundation-led effort to enhance the infrastructure of the MACS algorithm for gene regulation studies to include new technologies such as single-cell ATAC-sequencing; and work by a California Institute of Technology-led group supporting kallisto RNA-seq software.

"Hundreds of thousands of scientists each day use open source software to carry out their research," CZI Head of Science Cori Bargmann said in a statement. "Scientists deserve better tools, and we're helping to meet that need by supporting open source projects that will advance biomedical science and foster greater access to critical software."

The funding marks the second cycle of CZI's Essential Open Source Software program, which awards between $50,000 and $250,000 in total costs per project. CZI awarded $5 million in funding under the program's first cycle in November.