Data Repository Service (DRS)

Provides a standardised set of data retrieval methods

In order to analyse genomic data in the cloud, a researcher must use an access tool to retrieve the file. Today, however, data repositories are crowded with files. As a result, the process for retrieving a data set is complex and inefficient. To address this challenge, the GA4GH Cloud Work Stream has developed the Data Repository Service (DRS) API, which provides a standard way to retrieve a dataset regardless of the repository’s underlying architecture.

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  • Provides a standardised set of data access methods that are agnostic to cloud infrastructure
  • Allows for data access regardless of storage location or how the data is managed

Target users

Researchers, data custodians, and developers

A comic showing the challenges of working with datasets and how the Data Repository Service (DRS) API helps.
Image summary: DRS helps researchers retrieve any data from any analysis tool.
Work Stream
Product Leads
  • Brian O’Connor
  • Michael Lukowski
Staff Contact
Tools & Platforms

Community resources

Dive deeper into this product! Healthcare and research ecosystems contain potentially useful data to researchers and clinicians. Yet due to the varying and complex architecture of different data repositories, they often need custom tools to retrieve and work with genomic datasets. A standard is necessary to support both data producers in making their data available and researchers in accessing the data in a streamlined way. DRS maps a logical ID to a means for physically retrieving the data represented by the ID.




12 Mar 2024
The document describes the high-level 2024 goals for the GA4GH Cloud Work Stream.







Working meeting for the development of the GA4GH Cloud APIs such as DRS, WES, TES and TRS.

Meets on the second Monday of each month at 6pm BST. Complemented by the Cloud Work Stream meeting (late) meeting, which takes place on the 4th Monday of each month.

18:00 UTC
1 Hour



27 Nov 2024
27 Sep 2021
22 Jun 2020
7 Oct 2019
28 Apr 2019
22 Mar 2019


Related Driver Projects and Organisations

All of Us Research Program
Biomedical Research Hub (BRH)
Canadian Distributed Infrastructure for Genomics (CanDIG)
ELIXIR Cloud and AAI
NIH National Cancer Institute (NCI)
NIH Cloud Platform Interoperability (NCPI) effort
NHLBI BioData Catalyst® (BDC)
Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed)
Autism Sharing Initiative

Don't see your name? Get in touch:

  • Jeremy Adams
  • Dashrath Chauhan
    EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)
  • Kyle Ferriter
    Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
  • Marc Fiume
  • Ian Fore
    NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
  • David Glazer
  • Allison Heath
    Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Alexander Kanitz
    University of Basel
  • Michael Lukowski
    University of Chicago
  • Patrick Magee
  • Alice Mann
    Wellcome Sanger Institute (WSI)
  • Michele Mattioni
    Seven Bridges Genomics, Inc.
  • Brian O'Connor
    Sage Bionetworks
  • Jimmy Payyappilly
    EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)
  • Shaikh Farhan Rashid
    University Health Network, Canadian Distributed Infrastructure for Genomics (CanDIG)
  • Surya Saha
    Seven Bridges Genomics, Inc.
  • David Steinberg
    University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Jonathan Tedds
  • Susheel Varma
    Information Commissioner's Office
  • Douglas Voet
    Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
  • Brian Walsh
    Knight Diagnostic Laboratories, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Denis Yuen
    Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR)
  • Christina Yung
    Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), Indoc Research

News, events, and more

Catch up with all news and articles associated with Data Repository Service (DRS).

8 Jul 2021
GA4GH standards in a global learning health system
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5 Apr 2021
GA4GH shares seven open-source projects as part of Google Summer of Code 2021
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29 Sep 2020
GA4GH 2020 Connection Demos highlight the value of interoperability in genomics 
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