We’re coming to the Windy City for AACR

American Association for Cancer ResearchWe are excited to be attending our very first American Association for Cancer Research 2018 Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 14th – April 18th alongside thousands of oncology researchers and clinicians. We will be exhibiting at booth 2845, located next to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital booth.

Last month we announced our partnership with St. Jude and Microsoft to analyze and store half a petabyte of pediatric cancer genomic data and attended HIMSS 2018 to promote the partnership alongside 43,000 IT & Healthcare professionals. At AACR, we will be highlighting our capabilities around portals which provide customized spaces for users to securely collaborate and globally scale their scientific research through removing the heavy lifting around secure data access, management, and analysis.

St. Jude Cloud, utilizing DNAnexus and deployed in Microsoft Azure , is a data-sharing resource for the global scientific community allowing researchers to mine, analyze and visualize NGS data for pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The portal enables St. Jude and researchers worldwide accelerated scientific discoveries around pediatric diseases by comparing a vast multitude of datasets in a regulated and compliant platform.

See what we have planned at AACR below! If you’re eager to schedule a meeting ahead of time with us, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or Microsoft, email us!

DNAnexus Activities at AACR


Come visit the DNAnexus booth 2845 to get live demonstrations of the DNAnexus platform and DNAnexus Portals. Visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital booth 2844, for live demos of St. Jude Cloud and the Childhood Solid Tumor Network. Our scientific experts will be onsite to answer how our solutions could accelerate your cancer research.

Monday, April 16th

Tuesday, April 17th

Meet & Greets

Also in the booth will be times for scientific “meet-ups” with leading researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Microsoft Genomics. We’ll be providing more information in the upcoming weeks for the sessions via Twitter, (so make sure to follow us!).

Presentation showcasing the DNAnexus Platform

Scott Newman, Group Lead, Bioinformatics Analysis at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will be giving a presentation at AACR showcasing how major cloud-computing infrastructure is necessary to making complex bioinformatics pipelines easily accessible and providing intuitive visualizations for data mining in the Cloud. You can read the abstract and see the meeting agenda on the AACR website.

Track: Computational Methods and Resources for Cancer Research
Access, visualize and analyze 5,000 whole-genomes from pediatric cancer patients on St. Jude Cloud
Sunday, April 15th
3:05 – 3:20
Room N228 – McCormick Place North (Level 2)

Visit us at booth 2845 to learn more about DNAnexus, see a live demo of the platform or portals. If you would like to schedule a meeting, make sure to email us!

The Case for Rapid Genome Sequencing – Saving Critically Ill Newborns

Andrew, Alpha, and EJ Authors

From its inception, genomics has captured public imagination for its promise to save lives and improve the human condition. The rapid Whole Genome Sequencing (rWGS) work published by Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine (RCIGM) in Nature Genomic Medicine represents as near a manifestation of that promise as any.

Genomics Rady Childrens
Source: Rady Children’s

Genetic disorders and congenital anomalies affect 6% of live births. Severe occurrences convert a time of joy into an urgent, chaotic race for answers to save a newborn’s life and ease the child’s suffering. The paper describes RCIGM’s diagnosis of 42 infants admitted to the NICU, over the first nine months of their rWGS operation.  Of those infants, 43% were diagnosed by sequencing (compared to 2% by traditional methods). Consequently, there was a change in medical management in 72% of those cases. In some instances, this adjustment resulted in immediate, life-saving, targeted treatment that helped children avoid unneeded, high-risk, and costly surgeries.

On an economic basis, the sequencing program was strongly justified – reducing the inpatient cost between $800,000 – $2,000,000 by improving patient outcome, avoiding futile procedures and ending the diagnostic odyssey.

The study, which was part of RCIGM’s Rapid Newborn Diagnostics Program and a larger National Institute of Health (NIH) research program led by Dr. Stephen Kingsmore, MD, DSc, President and CEO of RCIGM, took place between July 2016 and March 2017.

Achieving these results demand broad and exceptional expertise from RCIGM – spanning patient consent, sample accessioning, sequencing, analysis, and diagnostic turnaround of results in a high-pressure environment within a very short time frame (2 – 5 days), all the while remaining compliant to CAP/CLIA standards. The scientific challenge is especially great as causal variants in newborns are far more likely to have never been encountered before due to their lethality, more likely to arise de novo, and typically involve complex, hard to call structural variants.

RCIGM has clearly demonstrated the model of rWGS to save lives, suffering, and expense. The next challenge is to expand the reach of the program to achieve the greatest impact. Now there are plans to implement the Rady’s program at other regional hospitals such as Children’s Minnesota, Children’s Hospital of Orange County , Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami (with more expected to follow over time). DNAnexus is excited to be a part of this monumental effort to transform pediatric medicine, powering RCIGM’s rWGS analysis and providing the key infrastructure to link up the pipeline partners.

“I believe this is a monumental publication that clearly demonstrates the diagnostic and clinical utility of whole genome sequencing with hard numbers. We are very motivated to propel this technology into pediatric institutions around the country and grow the evidence base. We are excited to be working with DNAnexus to scale our operations and help create a secure and seamless logistical framework.” said Dr. Narayanan Veeraraghavan, Director of Informatics & IT at RCIGM.

As RCIGM’s rWGS program expands to clinical partners around the country, they will be able to leverage the scalability, flexibility and security offered by the DNAnexus Platform. The DNAnexus platform is well suited to support such collaborative efforts, enabling secure sharing of data and tools in an efficient manner.

I strongly encourage you to read the paper. It contains descriptions of several cases. Though identities are withheld and the work is highly professional and academic, the details tell a deeply human story –  a risky procedure avoided at the last minute, a child saved from a likely condition of neurological impairment. The story refreshes the vision of hope from the early days of genomics as the first draft of the genome was completed – the promise that through effort and ingenuity, we can secure a healthier and safer future for our children.

GDPR Compliance – What you need to know

Loren Buhle Author






DNAnexus is updating our Data Processing Addendum to reflect the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that comes into effect on 25-May-2018.  This is a major regulation impacting the collection, use and retention of personal information for all citizens of countries belonging to the European Union. While DNAnexus is a Data Controller for the information users place on our system to enroll and use the DNAnexus Platform, our primary role is a data processor of data uploaded to our Platform by our Customers.

The scope of GDPR is any personal information from citizens of countries belonging to the European Union. If you use data originating from these citizens (regardless of where the citizen physically resides), it is covered by GDPR. If you collect this personal information,  you need to ask its origin.

Our new Data Processing Addendum (“DPA”) can be accessed here. The DPA is a contractual agreement between our customers and DNAnexus focusing on how DNAnexus handles personal identifying information originating from citizens of countries belonging to the EU. Our DPA will become effective coincident with the effective date of GDPR on 25-May-2018.

If you have users or data from citizens of countries that are part of the EU, we recommend you review your Consent Policies to make sure they are compliant with the new regulations outlined in the GDPR. For example, do your consent forms clearly describe the intended use of the data, provide a mechanism for the citizen to correct, obtain a personal copy or request removal of their information? Do you have a process for tracking requests, providing responses in a timely fashion, and providing evidence that you have met your obligations?

Learn how DNAnexus can help

DNAnexus works with our customers to understand the impact of privacy on genomic analysis, the regulatory requirements of storing sensitive data within specific geographic regions and moving these data across jurisdictions. The DNAnexus platform provides specific capabilities to help you be GDPR compliant quickly and painlessly.  We share the benefits and challenges of these experiences with you to help you manage your risks in an ongoing and predictable fashion. From initial assessment to implementation, we’re here to help you achieve your goals.

Section 11.2 of DNAnexus’ amended privacy policy at www.dnanexus.com/privacy provides specific details of how DNAnexus addresses GDPR.

If you have any questions about this update or GDPR, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your account team or contact us through Support@dnanexus.com.