Genome Data Analysis Network (GDAN)
The Genomic Data Analysis Network (GDAN) is a network of individuals and institutions that produce the bulk of the analysis required to interpret the data generated by the Genomic Characterization Centers (GCCs), that is housed within the GDC.
The use of novel technologies, the need to integrate different data types and the immense quantity of data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network led to an expansion of the TCGA Research Network to include new centers devoted to data analysis. The Genome Data Analysis Network works hand-in-hand with the Genome Characterization Centers (GCCs) to develop state-of-the-art tools that assist researchers with processing and integrating data analyses across the entire genome.
There are three types of centers in the GDAN, each designed to contribute to a different facet of genomic analysis: Processing, Specialized, and Visualization.
One processing center, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, does all of the initial processing of the data. After receiving sequencing data from Genome Characterization Centers that have been aligned by the Genomic Data Commons (GDC), the processing center runs an automated analysis of the data using Firehose, a genomic data analysis pipeline. This first-pass produces standard displays of the data, such as DNA mutation plots and maps of changes in the number of copies of genes in the genome, called copy number alterations.
The network's eleven specialized centers are comprised of foremost experts in their fields who work with the processed data to illuminate particular patterns in the data, and integrate the data, forming a more complete picture.
The network's single visualization center, led by first-time grant recipient Jingchun Zhu, Ph.D., of University of California Santa Cruz, will enable the research community to interact with and manipulate the CCG data. This group developed UCSC Xena, an interactive interface for visualizing genomics data, and will continue to refine their platform as the network's visualization center.