December 1, 2016

Expanding the DNA alphabet to understand cancer

Dr. Michael Hoffman poses for a photo at his desk.

The base components of DNA – adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine (commonly referred to as ATCG) are so fundamental to the study of genetics that they are probably familiar to anyone who has taken a high school biology class. Now, one team of researchers has expanded the ‘DNA alphabet’ to help aid in efforts to learn how cancers develop.

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November 18, 2016

OICR participates in the fastest, long-distance academic big data transfer in Canada

A picture from OICR's Data Center

OICR was part of a group of organizations to achieve history when they helped reach an important milestone in Canadian computing. As part of the ORION network, OICR participated in an exercise to perform the fastest, long-distance big data transfer between academic institutions in Canada.

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September 15, 2016

Canadian government makes big investment in big data research

OICR's server room

On September 13 the Government of Canada, through Genome Canada, made a $4 million investment in Canadian big data research to help improve real world challenges such as infectious disease outbreaks, managing food crops and combating cancer.

Of the 16 projects funded across Canada, three are based at OICR. Led by OICR Principal Investigators Drs. Paul Boutros, Vincent Ferretti, Jared Simpson and Lincoln Stein (Stein is also OICR’s Interim Scientific Director and leader of the Institute’s Informatics and Biocomputing Program), the projects are developing ways to make genomics and health data more manageable, securely accessible and easily understood. Together these projects will help to facilitate cancer research and assist in the adoption of more precision medicine. As well, they have applications in other fields of genomics research beyond cancer, such as agriculture and energy.

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July 14, 2016

International team launches community competition to unravel how cancer changes a cell’s RNA

Logos of the Challenge partners

An open challenge that merges the efforts of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, The Cancer Genome Atlas, and the NCI Cloud Pilots with Sage Bionetworks and the open science DREAM Challenge community

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July 14, 2016

OICR informatics researchers play key role in newly launched Genomic Data Commons

Screenshot of GDC website

Researchers have been given a powerful new tool to search for the mutations behind the development of cancer, leading to a better understanding of the disease, and ultimately, better care for patients. On June 6, U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden announced the launch of the Genomic Data Commons (GDC), an ambitious new project that is making a staggering amount of data available to scientists for analysis while also allowing researchers to share their own data with the wider research community.

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May 2, 2016

OICR joins the Collaborative Cancer Cloud

A connected cloud - decorative.

On March 31, Intel Corporation and the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Sciences University announced two new leading cancer centres have joined the Collaborative Cancer Cloud (CCC): Dana Farber Cancer Institute and OICR.

The CCC is a distributed precision medicine analytics platform that allows institutions to securely share and analyze large amounts of data while also preserving patient privacy and security. The CCC will make it easier, faster and more affordable to determine how genes interact to cause disease in individual patients.

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