Wellcome Trust partners with Sage Bionetworks to launch Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes


To learn more and submit your idea, visit the contest page.


A photo illustration of a person who's staring at a reflected screen of data and graphics.
Credit: istock. Prize submissions are likely to be a piece of code or analysis, plus a short description of the work.

Data re-use can generate new insights that in turn lead to vital health benefits. To stimulate and celebrate the innovative re-use of data, the Wellcome Trust has announced the launch of the Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes. With the support of Sage Bionetworks and its Synapse platform, the Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes will present two awards, each based on a topic of strategic importance to Wellcome: AMR surveillance and malaria.

The challenges create incentives for re-use and help form a community around the data.

“We are excited to partner with the Wellcome Trust to demonstrate how the re-use of public datasets can lead to better scientific insights,” said Dr. Larsson Omberg, Vice President for Systems Biology at Sage Bionetworks. “In addition to judging the reproducibility of the methods, we are encouraging people to work together by awarding extra points for new collaborations.”

Call for Entries

Wellcome is fully committed to ensuring that research outputs are made available to accelerate health benefits. This means that the researchers we support must maximize the availability of their data and other outputs with as few restrictions as possible.

Making data available in a timely and responsible way ensures other researchers can verify it, build on it, and use it to advance knowledge and make health improvements. But we don’t want to encourage data sharing for its own sake – we want the data that is shared by our researchers to be re-used by others to generate new insights and tools.

Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes

Entries have to generate a new insight, tool or health application from data available in an open data resource of Wellcome’s choosing.

There are two prizes, each based on a topic of strategic importance to Wellcome: AMR surveillance and malaria. The winner of each prize will get £15,000 (approx. $19,000 USD). Two runners-up will get £5,000 (approx. $6,400 USD).


To learn more and submit your idea, visit the contest page.


About Wellcome Trust: Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations, and spark debate. We remain true to the vision and values of our founder, Sir Henry Wellcome, a medical entrepreneur, collector and philanthropist. Our work today reflects the amazing breadth of Henry’s interests, and his belief that science and research expand knowledge by testing and investigating ideas.

About Sage Bionetworks: Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit research organization that believes that open practices can help accelerate biomedical research. Founded in 2009, our interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers work together to provide researchers access to technology tools and scientific approaches to share data, benchmark methods, and explore collective insights, all backed by Sage’s gold-standard governance protocols and commitment to user-centered design. Located in Seattle, Sage is supported through a portfolio of competitive research grants, commercial partnerships, and philanthropic contributions. Learn more at www.sagebionetworks.org.

Bringing Scientists Together to Speed Discovery

From Working Geek, Geekwire.com:

Scientists aren’t known for playing well with others. After all, their world is set up to reward individual accomplishments through journal publications, professorships and grants.

Lara Mangravite, president of Sage Bionetworks, is working to change that. Because the reality is that as science advances and big data spreads more widely, the go-it-alone model has its limits.

“[Researchers] need each other in a way they haven’t before to share samples and the infrastructure to handle that data and compute that data,” Mangravite said.

Read full article at GeekWire.com…

Sage Bionetworks launches interactive, web-based explorer, Agora in conjunction with NIH-led AMP-AD Target Discovery and Preclinical Validation Project

Full Article  from Business Wire


Sage Bionetworks announces the launch of the Agora platform, an interactive, web-based tool that allows researchers to share and explore curated genomic analyses of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).The analyses accessible through Agora represent the culmination of over five years of research from the dozens of scientists that are part of the NIH-led Accelerating Medicines Partnership – Alzheimer’s Disease (AMP-AD) Target Discovery and Preclinical Validation Project. AMP-AD is a precompetitive public private partnership led by NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) and managed by the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH), bringing together the government, industry and non-profit sectors to transform the way disease-relevant therapeutic targets are discovered and validated.

The AMP-AD program has generated a wealth of genomic, RNA expression, proteomic, and metabolomic data from over 3000 human brain and plasma samples collected in several NIA-supported AD cohorts and brain banks. The raw and processed data have been made widely accessible to qualified researchers through the AMP-AD Knowledge Portal. The datasets available through the Knowledge Portal have been used by the AMP-AD consortia members to produce hundreds of novel scientific research papers. In addition to AMP-AD investigators, external researchers have benefitted from the data sharing policy mandating rapid and broad sharing of data and have made critical new observations, including a recently published study that highlighted a previously uncharacterized relationship of human herpes virus with AD.

Although use of primary data is typically limited to investigators with bioinformatic expertise, AMP-AD investigators have also generated analyses that should be useful to a broader set of researchers.The launch of the Agora portal represents the first time that the analyses have been shared outside of the AMP-AD consortia members, which should enable additional groundbreaking discoveries.

“Agora enables researchers to leverage AMP-AD analyses to advance their own scientific questions,” says Ben Logsdon, Director of Neurodegenerative Disease Research at Sage Bionetworks and the lead investigator on the Agora project. “These results were developed to answer questions posed by AMP-AD researchers but they are broadly useful. Agora provides an easy tool to enable the exploration and reuse of these results by anyone.”

“The most exciting results featured in this early release of Agora is the AMP-AD nominated targets list – a set of genes and proteins derived from unbiased computational analyses of rich human multi-omics data,” said Suzana Petanceska, Ph.D., Program Director at the NIA, overseeing the AMP-AD Target Discovery Consortium. “These molecular signals could illuminate new disease biology or serve as novel therapeutic targets, she explained. “We are purposely releasing them at an early stage of the target evaluation process to allow us to integrate the input of external researchers and to crowdsource the follow-on evaluation,” added Petanceska.

“Because AMP-AD operates under open science principles, researchers rapidly disclose data and results and, in turn, they receive early peer review to help guide research decisions,” said Lara Mangravite, President of Sage Bionetworks and an AMP-AD Principal Investigator. “Agora extends this approach so that external investigators can get actively involved in evaluation of the AMP-AD targets as well as further their own research by evaluating the performance of their genes of interest against multiple computational meta-analyses.”

“AMP-AD is a clear response to the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Eliezer Masliah, M.D., director of the Division of Neuroscience at NIA. “It is enabling precision medicine and facilitating the principles of open science and rapid dissemination of new targets with more shots on goal for AD.”

Agora will be frequently updated to incorporate the latest analyses from AMP-AD and its affiliate AD consortia. The initial release includes differential expression and co-expression network meta-analyses across four human RNA-sequence data sets. Future releases will expand to include human proteomic and metabolomic analyses, comparative evaluations of disease signatures across species, and integration of druggability and tractability information to guide selection of targets for early drug discovery. Analyses developed within other consortia in the NIA’s AD Translational Research portfolio including MODEL-AD, M2OVE-AD, and AD Resilience will also be integrated into future iterations.

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