Learn how GA4GH helps expand responsible genomic data use to benefit human health.
Learn how GA4GH helps expand responsible genomic data use to benefit human health.
Our Strategic Road Map defines strategies, standards, and policy frameworks to support responsible global use of genomic and related health data.
Discover how a meeting of 50 leaders in genomics and medicine led to an alliance uniting more than 5,000 individuals and organisations to benefit human health.
GA4GH Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation that supports the global GA4GH community.
To guide our collaborative, globe-spanning alliance, GA4GH relies on a Standards Steering Committee and an Executive Committee.
The Funders Forum brings together organisations that offer both financial support and strategic guidance.
The EDI Advisory Group responds to issues raised in the GA4GH community, finding equitable, inclusive ways to build products that benefit diverse groups.
Distributed across four Host Institutions, our staff team supports the mission and operations of GA4GH.
Curious who we are? Meet the people and organisations across six continents who make up GA4GH.
More than 500 organisations connected to genomics — in healthcare, research, patient advocacy, industry, and beyond — have signed onto the mission and vision of GA4GH as Organisational Members.
These core Organisational Members are genomic data initiatives that have committed resources to guide GA4GH work and pilot our products.
This subset of Organisational Members whose networks or infrastructure align with GA4GH priorities has made a long-term commitment to engaging with our community.
Local and national organisations assign experts to spend at least 30% of their time building GA4GH products.
Anyone working in genomics and related fields is invited to participate in our inclusive community by creating and using new products.
Wondering what GA4GH does? Learn how we find and overcome challenges to expanding responsible genomic data use for the benefit of human health.
Study Groups define needs. Participants survey the landscape of the genomics and health community and determine whether GA4GH can help.
Work Streams create products. Community members join together to develop technical standards, policy frameworks, and policy tools that overcome hurdles to international genomic data use.
GIF solves problems. Organisations in the forum pilot GA4GH products in real-world situations. Along the way, they troubleshoot products, suggest updates, and flag additional needs.
NIF finds challenges and opportunities in genomics at a global scale. National programmes meet to share best practices, avoid incompatabilities, and help translate genomics into benefits for human health.
Communities of Interest find challenges and opportunities in areas such as rare disease, cancer, and infectious disease. Participants pinpoint real-world problems that would benefit from broad data use.
See all our products — always free and open-source. Do you work on cloud genomics, data discovery, user access, data security or regulatory policy and ethics? Need to represent genomic, phenotypic, or clinical data? We’ve got a solution for you.
All GA4GH standards, frameworks, and tools follow the Product Development and Approval Process before being officially adopted.
Learn how other organisations have implemented GA4GH products to solve real-world problems.
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Help create new global standards and frameworks for responsible genomic data use.
Align your organisation with the GA4GH mission and vision.
Solve your real-world data problems with support from this valuable network of global institutions.
Work with like-minded groups committed to better data use in areas like rare disease, cancer, and infectious disease.
Share your thoughts on all GA4GH products currently open for public comment.
Solve real problems by aligning your organisation with the world’s genomics standards. We offer software dvelopers both customisable and out-of-the-box solutions to help you get started.
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Read news, stories, and insights from the forefront of genomic and clinical data use.
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See new projects, updates, and calls for support from the Work Streams.
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23 Mar 2018
As a pioneer in genetics research, a leader in the Human Genome Project, and the founding director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute (a GA4GH Host Institution), Sir John was one of the most vocal champions of the open science mandate upon which our organization was founded—we are deeply indebted to him and to his contributions to the field.
Much has been written this month about the life and work of Sir John Sulston since his passing on March 6. As a pioneer in genetics research, a leader in the Human Genome Project, and the founding director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute (a GA4GH Host Institution), Sir John was one of the most vocal champions of the open science mandate upon which our organization was founded—we are deeply indebted to him and to his contributions to the field.
John’s community-minded spirit was evident from his earliest work in worm cell lineage mapping, but became of global importance when he lead the UK contribution to the worm—and then the human—genome project. He was a passionate believer that everyone—not just every scientist—should be able to use, exploit, and benefit from this information.
Sir John was one of the main drivers of the Bermuda Principles, in which the major public genome sequencing centres agreed to deposit information from the human genome within 24 hours of its generation. This was both a practical issue about how to coordinate the international effort, but also set a strong precedent for the importance of open genomic data. As the emphasis in genomics expanded to the systematic analysis and generation of data, John’s open science vision and attitudes transferred as well.
The GA4GH community owes a huge debt to John, and our mission and delivery are among the legacies that survive beyond him.
Below we have collected links to some of his most important writings on open science, as well as recent stories about his life and a few interviews he conducted during the past two decades.
Le Monde Diplomatique, 2002
“If we wish to move forward with this fascinating endeavour, which will undoubtedly translate into medical advances, the basic data must be freely available for everyone to interpret, change and share, as in the open-source software movement. The situation is too complex for a piecemeal approach, with limited amounts of data released at a time and with a single entity holding the access keys.”
Nobel Media AB, 2002
“The fact is that proprietary databases don’t work for such basic and broadly needed information as the sequence of the human genome.”
The Lancet, 2003
“There is a long way to go. The free release of genomic sequences, so valuable as a foundation, is only a starting point; without equitable application to health care it will become an empty gesture.”
Nature, 2004 (with John Harris)
“Societies have a fundamental obligation to ensure the protection of the life, liberty and health of each citizen impartially, and to provide access to beneficial health care and to the fruits of research on the basis of individual need, so that each has an equal chance of flourishing to the extent that their individual genome and personal health status allows. This equal chance of flourishing should be protected by the state, regardless of such arbitrary features as race, gender, genome, degree of disability, wealth and power, religious belief or skin colour.”
Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2006
“My first brush with intellectual property came through defending free data release from the human genome project. I was amazed at the tacit acceptance by some that this information could and should be privatized. The product was not an invention: a genome sequence is a clearcut case of public domain material.”
European Journal of Development Research, 2009 (with Catherine Rhodes)
“Scientific responsibility includes the responsibilities of scientists towards science and their fellow scientists – doing good science requires, for example, appropriate application of scientific methods, accurate reporting of results, and open dissemination of findings. It is now widely accepted that scientific responsibility extends beyond this and requires some consideration be given to the outcomes and consequences of research.”
The Life Scientific: John Sulston, BBC Radio 4, 2011
Knight in common armour: An interview with Sir John Sulston, PLOS Genetics, 2006
An audience with Sir John Sulston, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 2005
A Conversation with John Sulston, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 2002
Interview with Sydney Brenner, John E. Sulston and H. Robert Horvitz, Nobel Web AB, 2002