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CHOP to Head NIH-Backed Data Center for Pediatric Cancer Research

CHICAGO (GenomeWeb) – The US National Institutes of Health has picked the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to lead the development of a new data resource center to support data-driven research into pediatric cancers and structural birth defects.

The Kids First Pediatric Data Resource Center will serve as a central database to break down silos of information on these pediatric diseases, and provide the research community with wide access to clinical and genomic sequencing data. The goal is to offer 33,000 new pediatric whole genome sequences by 2022, as well as analytical tools and computing power to process this information, according to the Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine at CHOP, which will host the Kids First data center.

This new center is a project of the NIH Common Fund's Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program, better known as Kids First. The Obama administration created Kids First in 2014, and Congress appropriated $126 million in funding over 10 years to advance pediatric cancer research by creating a genomic and phenotypic data resource for the medical community. NIH has allocated as much as $14.8 million to the Kids First Pediatric Data Resource Center over five years.

Other partners in the data center include the Toronto-based Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the University of Chicago, Children's National Health System in Washington, the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and data analysis company Seven Bridges Genomics.

"We are experiencing exponential genomic data growth, but this data will only be valuable if it is accessible to researchers," Seven Bridges CEO Brandi Davis-Dusenbery said in a statement. "The Kids First Data Resource Center will not only bring wide-ranging data together in one place, but also give researchers the tools they need to analyze it, helping them to identify new intersections between and treatments for crippling childhood diseases."