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Ding named to committee to oversee NCI genomics data-sharing system

Called Genomic Data Commons, system will allow researchers to share information

May 16, 2016

Li Ding, an associate professor of medicine and of genetics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has been named to the steering committee of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s interactive system for storing, analyzing and distributing cancer genomics data.

Called Genomic Data Commons (GDC), the system will allow researchers to share information generated by the NCI and other research organizations. The goal is to improve the molecular diagnosis of cancer and to suggest potential therapies based on the genomic information.

The GDC will provide access to data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), which focuses on adult cancers; Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET), which focuses on pediatric cancers; and other current and future NCI programs.

As a member of the primary oversight body, Ding joins researchers from the NCI, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and other research organizations to review GDC efforts and resources.

Ding also is an assistant director of The McDonnell Genome Institute; the director of Computational Biology in the Division of Oncology of the Department of Medicine at Washington University; and a research member at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. Her group has made important contributions to the development of tools in extracting biologically and clinically relevant information from large-scale data, including the analyses of the first cancer genome.

She also serves in various leadership positions in committees within TCGA, International Cancer Genome Consortium, and Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium.