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GA4GH Announces 10 New 'Driver' Projects, Including First Pediatric Partner

NEW YORK – The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) this week named 10 new "driver" projects to further the organization's mission of building and implementing genomic data standards and bioinformatics tools in pursuit of precision medicine. These are the first new driver projects the alliance has announced since 2019 and the first since a strategic update unveiled earlier this year that reflects an organizational goal of becoming more relevant in clinical genomics.

GA4GH announced the additions Wednesday at its 11th plenary meeting in San Francisco.

Joining the 24 existing GA4GH driver projects are the US-based Biomedical Research Hub, the Human Pangenome Reference Consortium's Human Pangenome Project, the multinational Immunotherapy Centers of Research Excellence (imCORE) partnership, the International Precision Child Health Partnership (IPCHiP), the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's BioData Catalyst, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Cloud Platform Interoperability project, and the Repository of the International Fetal Genomics Consortium.

The European Genomic Data Infrastructure, the Qatar Genome Program, and the European Open Science Cloud for Cancer (EOSC4Cancer) will join "in the coming weeks," according to GA4GH.

These additions represent GA4GH's first work in fetal sequencing and pediatrics.

"For genomic data standards to make a difference to patients, we need to build bridges with clinical partners. The 10 new GA4GH driver projects will foster such engagement between research, medicine, and standards development," Heidi Rehm, vice chair and chair-elect of GA4GH, said in a statement.

Including the 10 new projects, the GA4GH driver projects together have amassed nearly 4 million genomes and more than 15 petabytes of data for research use. "That kind of data power will drive an enormous transformation in human health," said GA4GH Chair Ewan Birney. "It's fantastic to see the wide range of initiatives that have joined GA4GH as new driver projects and are committing to ramping up responsible genomic data use."