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OICR joins Open Cloud Consortium to collaborate on genome data


Chicago, IL – The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and the Open Cloud Consortium (OCC) say they have entered into a multi-year agreement that brings OICR into the OCC. OICR will be involved with several OCC Working Groups, including the Open Science Data Cloud Working Group and the Biomedical Commons Cloud Working Group, to build systems for cancer genomics analysis and biomedical data sharing.

OICR and OCC will collaborate together to create the Cancer Genome Collaboratory, a groundbreaking project to allow researchers authorized by the National Institutes of Health and the International Cancer Genome Consortium to perform computational analysis over cancer genomics data sets in a secure and regulatory-compliant fashion. It builds upon the Bionimbus Protected Data Cloud, which currently provides access to genomics data sets from The Cancer Genome Atlas. The Biomedical Commons Cloud Working Group will take the technology and lessons learned operating the Bionimbus Protected Data Cloud and apply them to a larger open source infrastructure for medical and healthcare data that spans multiple research organizations.

“Cancer genomics data sets are now too large to download over the Internet, and the compute resources needed to mine them for knowledge are out of reach for many researchers. Our collaboration will enable researchers from around the world to get the data, perform sophisticated analyses over it, and to extract knowledge that can be used to improve cancer diagnosis and care,” said Dr. Lincoln Stein, director of the Informatics and Bio-computing Program at OICR.

“The Biomedical Commons Cloud (BCC) provides a medical research center a quick and easy way to get access to a secure and compliant cloud that contains a critical mass of biomedical data,” said Dr. Robert Grossman, director of the OCC. “We are very excited that OICR will be one of the founding partners of this effort.”