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Interview with David Haussler on Global Alliance for Genomics and Health

by Roberto V. Zicari
editor of ODBMS.ORG

“A main challenge facing clinical and genomic data sharing efforts is the lack of harmonized methods and interoperable approaches that would enable such sharing. This barrier is one of the main motives for the formation of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.” –David Haussler

I have interviewed David Haussler, director of the Center for Biomolecular Science & Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. David is one of eight organizing committee members of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. RVZ

Q1. What is the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health?

David Haussler: The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health is a partnership of more than 180 of the world’s leading stakeholders working together to create a common framework of harmonized approaches to enable the responsible and effective sharing of genomic and clinical data. The Global Alliance is made of up of a diverse, international group of organizations working in healthcare, biomedical research, disease and patient advocacy, life science, and information technology, who come together with the goal of accelerating progress in medicine and human health.

Q2. What are the main objectives of the Data Working group?

David Haussler: The Data Working Group is focused on the interoperability and scalability of formats and interfaces for genomic information. The main near-term objective of the Data Working Group is to establish a role as the international coordinating body and frontrunner for organizing, developing and aligning the computer formats and application programming interfaces (APIs) used to represent and exchange genomic data on individuals.

This includes stewardship of existing file formats used to store genomic information (BAM and VCF files) and engaging the community in devising forward-looking data models and APIs for representing, submitting, exchanging, and querying genomic data.

Q3. What are the main challenges (technical and non-technical) in representing and exchanging genomic data on individuals?

David Haussler: A main challenge facing clinical and genomic data sharing efforts is the lack of harmonized methods and interoperable approaches that would enable such sharing. This barrier is one of the main motives for the formation of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.

Continue reading complete article here: http://www.odbms.org/blog/2014/09/david-haussler/

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