Building a Data Coordination Platform for the Human Cell Atlas

Apr 28, 2020

A woman holding a computer stands and talks with a man in a room filled with people talking.
CZI staff showcase tools and technologies for researchers at the Seed Networks for the Human Cell Atlas meeting. Photo by Dale Ramos, CZI.

Researchers need a way to explore the many datasets that scientists around the world are collecting as part of the global Human Cell Atlas project. The Human Cell Atlas Data Coordination Platform (HCA DCP) is an open-source, cloud-based platform that organizes, standardizes, and compiles accessible data from the Atlas. Having these datasets available in one place in a unified format allows researchers to quickly extract important information about various cells and tissues that could lead to new treatments and cures for diseases.

Building this data coordination platform requires collaboration between experts in bioinformatics, software engineers, and members of the user community. CZI is working alongside international leaders in scientific data infrastructure to formulate, fund, and jointly build the Human Cell Atlas data portal to enable the sharing of information across researchers and research institutes.

Collaborations are underway with the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the Broad Institute, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Partnership with EMBL-EBI will ensure all data standards meet the exacting international criteria for data access and data sharing — such as permanent maintenance of data through EBI and deposition of all data into the European Nucleotide Archive or the European Genome-Phenome Archive, as appropriate.

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