University of Chicago | Center for Data Intensive Science
The Center for Data Intensive Science (CDIS) at the University of Chicago is a center focused on data science and its applications to problems in biology, medicine and health care.
CDIS is leading several large projects, including the Genomic Data Commons (GDC), a collaboration with the National Cancer Institute. The GDC will be the nation’s most comprehensive computational facility, which stores and harmonizes cancer genomic data generated through NCI-funded research programs.
The GDC will provide an expandable, modern informatics framework that uses standards to make raw and processed genomic data broadly accessible. The GDC will harmonize and centralize existing NCI datasets through an approach to data storage and analysis similar to what is used by companies such as Google and Facebook. The GDC will eliminate a major chokepoint, streamlining access to data for researchers regardless of their institution’s size or budget—effectively democratizing access to the material. It will also enable previously unfeasible collaborative efforts between scientists.
The GDC serves as a key step toward the development of precision medicine—targeted treatments that are tailored to individual patients. Once fully developed, it will provide an interactive system for researchers and clinicians to upload their cancer genomics data and use it to identify the molecular subtype of cancer and potential therapeutic targets. Genetic data will be linked to extensive clinical information from patients and their response to treatment.
The GDC also creates a foundation for future cloud-based technologies that one day will allow researchers to analyze large-scale datasets and perform experiments remotely. The open-source software being developed by the GDC has the potential to become a model for data-intensive research efforts for other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes, which would greatly benefit from similar large-scale, data-driven approaches to develop cures.
Learn more about the Genomic Data Commons project at:
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