University of Chicago and the National Cancer Institute are addressing one of genomics’ biggest bottlenecks.

The University of Chicago is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to set up a computational facility, The Genomic Data Commons (GDC), which will store and manage cancer genomic data generated through NCI-funded research. It will provide resources to help in the identification of subtypes of cancer, as well as any potential therapeutic targets. By making this type of data easier to exploit, the GDC has the potential to greatly benefit the development of new therapies.

There is genomic data from over 10,000 patients from NCI funded projects. Unfortunately this data is housed in different locations and in different formats, making meta-analysis difficult. The GDC will curate existing data, as well as building a framework through which newly generated data can be standardised. This is a major step forward in not only making data more accessible, but much less time consuming to make productive use of.

Over the coming years the GDC will also be informing guidelines on any legal and ethical issues derived from open access genomic databases.

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