UCSC Cancer Genomics Hub wins 2013 Innovations in Networking Award

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david haussler
David Haussler

The UC Santa Cruz Cancer Genomics Hub (CGHub) has been honored by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) as the recipient of the 2013 Innovations in Networking Award for High-Performance Research Applications.

UCSC has built CGHub, a 5-petabyte database, to store tumor genomes sequenced through National Cancer Institute (NCI) projects. Through this effort, CGHub is tackling the significant computational challenges posed by storing, serving, and interpreting cancer genomics data.

The CGHub mission is to facilitate the work of scientific researchers. It is designed to be a fully automated resource, appearing to the user as an extension of the user's home institute computing system. Making such vast amounts of data accessible to collaborating researchers nationally and internationally requires advanced networking to allow the research to be carried out as seamlessly as possible.

The project is led by UC Santa Cruz bioinformatics expert David Haussler. Haussler is a distinguished professor of biomolecular engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at UCSC and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. "By providing researchers with comprehensive catalogs of the key genomic changes in many major types and subtypes of cancer, these efforts will support the development of more effective ways to diagnose and treat cancer," Haussler said. 

Haussler's group built CGHub to support all three major NCI cancer genome sequencing programs: the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET), and the Cancer Genome Characterization Initiative (CGCI). TCGA is a collaborative effort led by NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute to map the genomic changes that occur in at least 20 major types and subtypes of adult cancer. The TARGET program is a related effort focusing on the five most common childhood cancers, and the CGCI makes available genomic data from HIV-associated cancers and certain lymphoid and childhood cancers.

Innovations in Networking Awards are given annually by CENIC to highlight exemplary innovations which leverage ultra high-bandwidth networking, particularly where those innovations have the potential to revolutionize the ways in which instruction and research are conducted or where they further the deployment of broadband in underserved areas.

CGHub was built and is run by the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is funded by the National Institutes of Health under prime contract HHSN261200800001E, from the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research.


California's education and research communities leverage their networking resources under CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, in order to obtain cost-effective, high-bandwidth networking to support their missions and answer the needs of their faculty, staff, and students. CENIC designs, implements, and operates CalREN, the California Research and Education Network, a high-bandwidth, high-capacity Internet network specially designed to meet the unique requirements of these communities, and to which the vast majority of the state's K-20 educational institutions are connected. In order to facilitate collaboration in education and research, CENIC also provides connectivity to non-California institutions and industry research organizations with which CENIC's associate researchers and educators are engaged.