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DREAM and Sage Bionetwork Launch New Computational Challenges

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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The organizers of the Dialogue on Reverse Engineering Assessment and Methods (DREAM) project and Sage Bionetworks in collaboration with the Broad Institute, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Rice University, and the Global CEO Initiative for Alzheimer's Disease, launched three new biomedical computational challenges this week.

The challenges for the ninth incarnation of the project are focused on cancer and Alzheimer's disease and will run until mid-September this year. Winners will be announced in early October.

For the Alzheimer's disease challenge, participants will have access to genetic, demographic, clinical, and imaging data provided by the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, Rush University Medical Center, and the AddNeuroMed study. According to the project website, they'll have to use the data to develop predictive models of cognitive scores, discordance between cognitive ability and amyloid load, and/or predict diagnostic groups based on imaging and genetics.

For the second task dubbed the "gene essentially prediction" challenge, participants will use data provided by the Broad to develop predictive models for inferring how essential particular genes are to cancer cell's survival. This particular challenge builds on Project Achilles, a collaborative effort between the Broad and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that’s aimed at creating a comprehensive catalog of genetic weakness in multiple cancer subtypes with an eye towards identifying new drug targets and guiding therapy development. The challenge is supported by NCI 's Cancer Target Discovery and Development and its Integrative Cancer Biology Program (ICBP), Instituto Carlos Slim de la Salud, EMD Serono, Eli Lilly, Novartis, and Pfizer.

For the final challenge, which focuses on acute myeloid leukemia, participants have to develop models for predicting the treatment outcomes for AML patients, their remission duration, and overall survival. Data for this challenge — which includes clinical covariates, gene mutation status, and proteomic information — comes from MD Anderson Cancer Center. The challenge is funded by the NCI's ICBP, Washington State Life Science Discovery Fund, and Rice University.

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