OSU awarded $8.8M grant to make cancer research accessible

The nationwide effort will take place over the next three and a half years, and OSU will be leading the charge.

Posted: Oct 30, 2019 6:21 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State University has been awarded $8.8 million to help make cancer research data more accessible and organized.

The nationwide effort will take place over the next three and a half years, and OSU will be leading the charge.

The program is called the Center for Cancer Data Harmonization. They will gather information from cancer patients all over the country, including treatment, statistics and results and make it available to those in the medical field treating others with cancer.

The program will use a cloud-based sharing portal called the Cancer Research Data Commons.

The idea is to share information about what's worked and hasn't worked to treat and diagnose cancer in the past.

Program leader Dr. Melissa Haendel said the team's short-term goal is to get everybody to work together -- such as doctors, biologists and software engineers -- because she said with a collective effort from those different fields, the results in cancer research data would be astounding.

"When you get people together from these very different disciplines and backgrounds, they have very different needs, they have very different ideas about how they work, where and when they work, how they work together, and you put them all together and really the sum becomes more than the parts," Haendel said.

The other universities involved include Oregon Health and Science University, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina.

"Connecting cancer information in this manner is going to fundamentally impact the discoveries that can be made with research in the future," team member Monica Munoz-Torres said.

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