A new center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is harnessing the power of “big data” to empower discovery in pediatric cancers and other rare childhood diseases.
The Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b) at CHOP is an open-access, data driven discovery platform that empowers researchers to develop new diagnostic tools and personalized, precision therapies, and is the first of its kind for pediatrics.
Led by Adam Resnick, PhD, and Phillip “Jay” Storm, MD, D3b focuses on data sharing and collaboration, which are among the biggest challenges in research on pediatric cancer and other childhood diseases, particularly since the advent of new genome sequencing technology that generates a large amount of data for analysis, often referred to as “big data.”
“Unfortunately, whatever limited pediatric cancer data has been generated to date by ‘big data’ technologies has remained siloed, and genomic and healthcare data remain largely unintegrated and unempowered with limited access or the necessary opportunities for collaborative research,” Drs. Resnick and Storm stated.
The D3b will provide robust pediatric data generation and analysis infrastructure. It is based on collaboration, data sharing, and scientific integration, allowing pediatric researchers to transform how they approach big data. Its guiding principles include prioritizing connectivity and collaboration over ownership, empowering data organization with democratized access, providing community-based architectures to promote collaborative uses, and adopting and advocating for open-source and open-access models.
This initiative further supports the growth of large-scale interdisciplinary, collaborative infrastructures that CHOP leads through clinical trial consortia and multi-institution research programs. Examples of these include the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium and the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium.
“Working with CHOP leaders, collaborating hospitals, industry partners, and (most importantly) foundations, patients and their families, the Center initiative will build on CHOP’s investment in a new pediatric biospecimen and integrated diagnostics and data discovery open ecosystem,” Drs. Resnick and Storm stated.
See the full version of this article in the January 2016 issue of Bench to Bedside.