Sharing large-scale well being knowledge to drive ahead precision drugs

Precision drugs requires huge knowledge. As a way to enhance the remedy of people with most cancers, or to know uncommon ailments, scientists and clinicians, in addition to AI applied sciences require entry to bigger units of well being analysis knowledge that covers numerous populations and broad ranges of circumstances. For AI, extra knowledge means a greater understanding of ailments, which is able to result in extra correct analysis and remedy. On the similar time, every hospital will solely see a comparatively small variety of people with a illness, and even throughout the province, we now have entry to solely a small portion of the entire knowledge out there worldwide. To construct the large-scale datasets wanted to drive ahead precision drugs, sharing of information throughout the nation and around the globe is essential.

The Canadian Distributed Infrastructure for Genomics (CanDIG), featured not too long ago in a particular situation of Cell Genomics devoted to knowledge sharing, is Canada’s answer to enabling knowledge sharing throughout the nation (and connecting our knowledge to datasets around the globe). Led out of Toronto’s College Well being Community with websites at Montreal’s McGill College and BC Genome Science Middle, CanDIG is a collaboration of pc scientists, AI specialists, clinicians, and geneticists working collectively to allow research wanted to deal with the well being challenges confronted by Canadians.

CanDIG is a driver venture of the International Alliance for Genomics and Well being (GA4GH), a world effort setting requirements for genomics and well being knowledge trying to enhance interoperability throughout the genomics panorama worldwide. The group served as the main target for this month’s particular situation of Cell Genomics for his or her work on international genomics and well being knowledge sharing efforts. Canada has been a frontrunner within the GA4GH, internet hosting its headquarters, main a number of venture work-streams, and implementing many GA4GH requirements. CanDIG, as one of many driver tasks, has not solely carried out GA4GH requirements however helped inform and construct lots of them. CanDIG is already serving to scientists nationally entry large-scale genomics knowledge that was beforehand siloed in particular person provinces or hospitals and is beginning to join Canada’s genomic datasets to these from around the globe by means of collaborations such because the EU/Africa/Canada CINECA venture.

The CanDIG platform was developed to deal with Canada’s province-based healthcare and privateness laws, constructing a federation of datasets, simplifying the challenges of sharing throughout provincial borders. CanDIG can also be a key element of the upcoming Digital Well being and Discovery Platform (DHDP), a $200 million greenback effort funded partly by the Canadian authorities, which is able to help sharing of genomic knowledge from the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope Most cancers Centres Community. Making this knowledge out there to researchers is essential to unlocking its potential for discovery, and enabling higher most cancers remedies, as a result of the neatest researchers and probably the most highly effective machine studying methods cannot do something with knowledge they cannot discover, entry or use.


“At establishments like UHN, we’re constructing more and more refined knowledge assets containing well being knowledge from many alternative sources. The subsequent step is to assist researchers flip that knowledge into new information by making it findable, out there and usable in a uniform, curated, safe means, and permitting it to be mixed with related datasets throughout different hospitals. CanDIG is a major step in the direction of enabling researchers from throughout Canada to entry the wealth of information being collected and generated wherever within the nation.”

Dr. Michael Brudno, CanDIG Principal Investigator, UHN’s Chief Information Scientist, and Professor of Pc Science on the College of Toronto.

Taking part inside the GA4GH group and worldwide tasks just like the EU/Africa/Canada CINECA venture, CanDIG is beginning to join Canadian genomics efforts to these around the globe. As well being knowledge varieties develop richer and volumes improve we want to ensure our datasets are findable and helpful; Canada is a world chief on this.”

Dr. Guillaume Bourque, CanDIG Co-lead, Professor of Molecular Genetics at McGill College & Director of the Canadian Middle for Computational Genomics (C3G).

“Entry to whole-genome knowledge has been important to understanding the spectrum of mutations that accrue in most cancers. CanDIG and the Terry Fox Digital Well being and Discovery Platforms will assist the information collected by the Marathon of Hope Most cancers Centres Community be studied by as many authorized researchers as potential.”

Dr. Steve Jones, CanDIG Co-lead, Head of Bioinformatics and Co-Director on the BC Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre


College Well being Community

Journal reference:

Jonathan Dursi, L., et al. (2021) CanDIG: Federated community throughout Canada for multi-omic and well being knowledge discovery and evaluation. Cell Genomics.

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