Seven Bridges Cancer Genomics Cloud powers RNA research DREAM Challenge

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Seven Bridges Cancer Genomics Cloud powers RNA research DREAM Challenge

Crowdsourced Project is Analyzing RNA Sequencing Data to Identify Cancer Markers

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., September 14, 2016Seven Bridges, the biomedical data analysis company, today announced that its Cancer Genomics Cloud (CGC) platform is powering the latest DREAM Challenge, focused on accurately identifying cancer-associated rearrangements with RNA sequencing data. Launched by The University of California, Santa Cruz and co-hosted by Seven Bridges, this ongoing challenge—officially titled the ICGC-TCGA DREAM Somatic Mutation Calling – RNA challenge—invites researchers to submit their best algorithms to help understand the role of RNA in cancer. The top performers will receive travel awards and speaking invitations to the 2017 DREAM conference.

Seven Bridges’ CGC platform is one of three cloud pilots initiated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), with the goal of making next-generation sequencing (NGS) data like The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset more accessible and useful to researchers worldwide. By running this collaborative, crowdsourced project on the CGC, organizers hope to empower DREAM challenge participants, regardless of their location or the size of their institution, to more easily conduct reproducible analyses at scale and make discoveries using very large genomic datasets.

“Seven Bridges designed the CGC platform with the democratization of genomic data analysis in mind from the very beginning,” said Brandi Davis-Dusenbery, SVP Science and Product. “Because the platform provides innovative tools for securely accessing and experimenting with data in a cloud environment, researchers can focus on perfecting their algorithms without waiting for computational resources or spending time managing data logistics.”

The Seven Bridges CGC platform serves as a one-stop shop for participants to access  reference and training data for the SMC-RNA challenge, collaborate with others, develop and test their methods, get help and more—all within a single ecosystem.  The Common Workflow Language (CWL), combined with Docker containers, also makes it simple for participants to submit their contributions. The CGC allows researchers to develop, test and evaluate their submissions in a portable and reproducible fashion, with no downloading of data required.

“Our guiding principles for the CGC mirror those of the U.S. National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which include making cancer-related genomic data and the tools for precision medicine research available to a broad base of users and removing barriers to interdisciplinary research,” said Davis-Dusenbery. “Thanks to the CGC, which promotes collaboration, data-sharing, reproducibility and the development of community standards, projects like the DREAM challenge will be accessible to more researchers and can scale more quickly. We are honored to support this innovative effort to further our understanding of the role of gene expression and structural variation in cancer and human health.”

DREAM—short for Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods—was founded in 2006 by Columbia University’s Andrea Califano and Mount Sinai’s Gustavo Stolovitzky, and is coordinated by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Researchers interested in participating in The ICGC-TCGA DREAM Somatic Mutation Calling – RNA challenge can register here.

About Seven Bridges

Seven Bridges is the biomedical data analysis company accelerating breakthroughs in genomics research for cancer, drug development and precision medicine. The scalable, cloud-based Seven Bridges Platform empowers rapid, collaborative analysis of millions of genomes in concert with other forms of biomedical data. Thousands of researchers in government, biotech, pharmaceutical and academic labs use Seven Bridges, including three of the largest genomics projects in the world: U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Genomics Cloud pilot, the Million Veteran Program, and Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes Project. As the NIH’s only commercial Trusted Partner, Seven Bridges authenticates and authorizes access to one of the world’s largest cancer genomics dataset. Named one of the world’s smartest companies by MIT Technology Review, Seven Bridges has offices in Cambridge, Mass.; Belgrade; London; Istanbul; and San Francisco.


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