CFDE Highlights

Common Fund Data Ecosystem: A New Frontier in Biomedical Research

Innovative collaborations will create useful tools for scientific discovery

The Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE) aims to enable new ways of doing science by creating an ecosystem—the data management infrastructure, analytics, applications, and user interfaces needed to work within and across existing Common Fund data sets. The CFDE took a major step toward creating this resource by launching a set of collaborative projects that bring together eight Common Fund Data Coordinating Centers (DCCs) to help build this functional ecosystem for answering important biological questions, such as uncovering new molecular pathways and illuminating disease mechanisms.

The Common Fund DCCs will contribute a wealth of diverse data sets, spanning basic biology to clinical research, and will work towards making their data more useful alone and in combination with other data sets. The participating DCCs include Extracellular RNA Communication (ExRNA), Gabriella Miller Kids First (Kids First), Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx), The Human BioMolecular Atlas Program (HuBMAP), Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG), Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures (LINCS), Metabolomics, and Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) programs. Their collaborative projects will tackle important challenges in biomedical research and human health, including (but not limited to):

  • Innovative strategies for data-driven treatment planning—coupling drug and small molecule predictions with patient gene activity data to uncover key molecular pathways and help with developing effective treatment strategies, predicting drug responses, identifying the best candidate drugs for specific patients, and tracking disease progression and recovery. Participating DCCs: GTEx, IDG, Kids First, LINCS, Metabolomics
  • New drug targets for pediatric cancer treatments—identifying new potential therapeutic targets for specific types of pediatric cancers by comparing the gene activity differences between tumors and healthy organ tissue. Participating DCCs: GTEx, Kids First, LINCS
  • Novel insights into complex conditions—generating multi-layered organ maps that will incorporate genetic mutations, structural birth defects, and gene activity changes during development, to create a powerful tool for studying complex conditions like Down syndrome. Participating DCCs: ExRNA, HuBMAP, Kids First, SPARC
  • Solutions for working with data in the cloud—exploring new ways to combine data sets and discover solutions for working across independent cloud-based platforms. Participating DCCs: ExRNA, GTEx, HuBMAP, IDG, Kids First, LINCS, Metabolomics, SPARC

Demonstrating the value of these data sets, particularly in combination, will help the research community see what kinds of new research questions can be asked of and answered by the data. CFDE will also make the data more accessible through a cloud-based public web portal. As these exciting projects begin, they hold the potential for opening new doors to scientific discovery and informing innovative approaches to improving human health.

Learn more about these CFDE engagement awards by visiting the Funded Research page.

This page last reviewed on October 7, 2020