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A Software Platform for Genomic Data Analysis

Speaker Name: 
Clare Bernard
Speaker Title: 
Senior Director of the Broad Institute Data Sciences Platform
Speaker Organization: 
Broad Institute
Start Time: 
Friday, February 26, 2021 - 12:00pm
End Time: 
Friday, February 26, 2021 - 1:05pm
Via Zoom
Shel Finkelstein


The Human Genome Project, which began in 1990, was an effort to map the full DNA sequence of the human genome. Since it was completed in the early 2000’s, genomics has revolutionized the life sciences. Cheap and accurate genome sequencing is now a reality, we have sequenced tens of millions of individuals, and scientific research is increasingly informed by vast stores of data generated around the world. At the Broad Institute’s sequencing center alone, we’ve sequenced samples from over two million individuals, generating over 100 petabytes of data. This data requires a large amount of computing power to process (processing the raw data from one human genome takes 600-1000 core hours) and because this is human subjects data, privacy and security are incredibly important. To unlock the full potential of this data, we need policies, infrastructure, and algorithms that support managing, sharing and co-analyzing these large datasets. The Data Sciences Platform at the Broad Institute stores and processes data generated by the Broad’s sequencing center and hosts many large genomic datasets that have been generated externally as well. In collaboration with Microsoft and Verily, we have also developed Terra which is a secure platform for storing, processing, and sharing data and collaborating on biomedical data analysis in the cloud. This software currently enables researchers collaborating on some of the most pressing challenges in genomics.


Clare Bernard is the Senior Director of the Data Sciences Platform team at the Broad Institute. Prior to joining the Broad, Clare led product and engineering at Tamr, a Cambridge-based software company that uses machine learning to integrate large datasets. She received her PhD from Boston University for research in particle physics conducted at the Large Hadron Collider. Clare leads the development of the Terra platform which is used to support projects such as the All of Us Research Program, NHGRI’s AnVIL, NHLBI’s BioData Catalyst and the Human Cell ATLAS project.
Note:  Zoom discussion with the speaker may continue after presentation until about 2:00pm.
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