GA4GH Community Spotlight: Soichi Ogishima

This GA4GH Community Post is the eighth in our monthly series featuring individuals from across GA4GH. This month we are turning the spotlight on Soichi Ogishima! Soichi Ogishima is a Professor in the Department of Informatics for Genomic Medicine, Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization at the Tohoku University. He leads development of the integrated database called dbTMM which consists of genomic/omics data, health data, clinical data, and phenotypic data collected in a prospective cohort study of the Tohoku Medical Megabank (TMM) project. Especially for phenotypic data, he conducts research of precise deep phenotyping utilizing EHR data from hospital information systems. He also leads development of the biobank network by cross-search of biospecimens and data stored in major biobanks in Japan. He graduated from the Department of Mathematical Engineering at the University of Tokyo, and received his Ph.D. in Medicine from the Graduate School of Tokyo Medical and Dental University.

How did you get involved with GA4GH?
I am participating in the activities as a contributor from the Driver Project of GEM Japan. I am also involved in collaborative activities as the Chair of the Japanese National Committee of ISO/TC215/SC1 and the WG Chair of Clinical Genomics of the Japan HL7 Association.

How do you think genomic data standards will shape the world in 20 years?
In 20 years, we will have a genome society where everyone has genome information from birth and will benefit from it. Genome data will play an important role not only in medicine but also in various other fields. When genomic data becomes a part of the social infrastructure, genomic data standards that enable responsible data sharing will play a very important role.

What is your favorite thing about the GA4GH Community and why?
Open mindedness with respect, courtesy, and professionalism is my favorite thing about the GA4GH Community.

How does interoperability and data sharing help your career and important to your work?
I believe that a genome society, in which everyone has genome information and can benefit from it, should be realized. In order to achieve this goal, a genome society must be designed by a wide range of stakeholders, including citizens, patients, medicine, academia, and pharmaceutical companies, by examining medical, technological, and legal issues. Since a wide range of stakeholders will be involved in the implementation of the genome society, interoperability/data sharing is essential.