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For St. Jude, Advancing Cures for Pediatric Cancer Means Accelerating Genomic Discovery and Collaboration

Angela Blog Author




Historically, cancer research has been slowed by an inability to make genomic data rapidly accessible to research collaborators. Last week, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital took a big step toward solving this problem with its launch of St. Jude Cloud, an online platform that allows researchers to access the world’s largest public repository of pediatric cancer genomics data. Developed in partnership between St. Jude, Microsoft, and DNAnexus, St. Jude Cloud provides a flexible cloud platform for rapid data mining, analysis and visualization capabilities.

St. Jude has long been a leader in advancing cures for pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases, and continues to develop new approaches to revolutionize the way medicine is practice. St. Jude Cloud is the latest unique tool developed in the fight to advance cures for pediatric diseases. DNAnexus is proud to serve as the technology platform that brings together St. Jude researchers and their partners in a secure and collaborative ecosystem.

Collaboration fuels scientific advancements, and St. Jude Cloud is already doing just that. In a paper that was recently published in Nature, St. Jude researchers lead by Jinghui Zhang, PhD, discovered mutations connected to UV damage in a B-cell leukemia. This was a very surprising finding and led the team to ask whether other leukemia samples not included in the original study might have a similar mutational pattern. Scott Newman, PhD, used St. Jude Cloud to reproduce the original experimental findings in just a few days whereas the original research took more than two years to complete.

Using St. Jude Cloud, Newman was able to conduct large-scale data analysis enabling him to identify the same UV-linked mutational signature in pediatric B-Cell leukemia patients over four days. Discovering these additional samples further helped researchers understand the possible link between UV damage and a blood cancer and potentially leads to the development of new therapies. Learn more about the St. Jude Cloud and its research capabilities via Q&A with Newman featured in the St. Jude Progress.

Like St. Jude Cloud, DNAnexus delivers fit-for-purpose community portals to advance scientific research through a secure and collaborative online environment that has been independently audited and certified. DNAnexus community research portals allow members to focus on discovery and innovation, removing the burden of secure data management, distribution, and data analysis. Other community research portals powered by DNAnexus include the FDA’s precisionFDA platform for advancing regulatory standards for NGS-based drug and devices, and the microbiome research platform, Mosaic, which facilitates the translation of microbiome research into clinical applications.

Learn more about DNAnexus community portals and determine which use case is right for you.

About DNAnexus

DNAnexus the leader in biomedical informatics and data management, has created the global network for genomics and other biomedical data, operating in 33 countries including North America, Europe, China, Australia, South America, and Africa. The secure, scalable, and collaborative DNAnexus Platform helps thousands of researchers across a spectrum of industries — biopharmaceutical, bioagricultural, sequencing services, clinical diagnostics, government, and research consortia — accelerate their genomics programs.

The DNAnexus team is made up of experts in computational biology and cloud computing who work with organizations to tackle some of the most exciting opportunities in human health, making it easier—and in many cases feasible—to work with genomic data. With DNAnexus, organizations can stay a step ahead in leveraging genomics to achieve their goals. The future of human health is in genomics. DNAnexus brings it all together.