22 September 2017
The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) welcomed its 500th Organizational Member this week, solidifying its role as the international standards setting body for genomic and health-related data. The news comes as GA4GH undergoes a strategic planning effort and reorganization, set to launch at the GA4GH 5th Plenary Meeting on October 17, in Orlando, Florida, USA ahead of the annual meeting of the American Society for Human Genetics.
By 2022, genomic medicine initiatives around the world are expected to have brought the number of research and clinically generated human genome sequences to the 10s of millions.
“To fully leverage the potential of these data, the international community will need assurances that the data are securely accessible and interoperable across jurisdictions and institutions,” said Peter Goodhand, President of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Executive Director of GA4GH.
The organization is delivering that assurance by laying the bedrock for genomic data sharing. Its 500 organizational members and 100s of individual volunteers are working together to develop technical standards, regulatory policies, and other resources that will make it possible for international organizations to work together in the genomic medicine space.
As part of the strategic plan launch in October, GA4GH will announce formal collaborations with leading international genomics initiatives. The partnerships will aim to ensure that GA4GH work going forward is directly aligned with the most immediate needs of the community. The launch will also announce new products and an organizational structure aimed at efficient, effective delivery of tools for responsible data sharing by 2022.
To become a member of GA4GH and to stay abreast of its activities, organizations and individuals can sign up here. The strategic plan will be announced on October 17 and the meeting will be live streamed for anyone unable to attend in person.