Genomic analysis expertise joins forces with big data expertise.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is working with Google Genomics to help researchers around the world. The team will be working together to develop new solutions that will make the use and access of genomic information much easier.

As a first step, Broad’s Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK) will be added to the Google Cloud Platform as part of Google Genomics. Initially, an alpha release of the GATK service will be made available to a limited set of users. 

The collaboration brings together the very best minds in their respective fields of genomic analysis and big data. It should also be noted that it is an open relationship. There is nothing stoping Broad Institute from setting up similar collaborations with Amazon or Microsoft. This could be a very significant step in bridging the technological gap that exists between the field of genomics and more mature fields which have been dealing with much larger datasets very successfully for quite some time now. 

“Large-scale genomic information is accelerating scientific progress in cancer, diabetes, psychiatric disorders, and many other diseases,” said Eric Lander, President and Director of Broad Institute. “Storing, analyzing, and managing these data is becoming a critical challenge for biomedical researchers. We are excited to work with Google’s talented and experienced engineers to develop ways to empower researchers around the world by making it easier to access and use genomic information.”

“Broad and Google share a culture of collaboration and open access to data,” said David Glazer, Director of Google Genomics. “Google Genomics is helping scientists make genomic information more accessible and useful. By making Broad’s GATK available through the Google Cloud Platform, we hope to accelerate great science.”

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