This is the home of the Genome Characterization Center (GCC) space at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. The Broad Institute is one of six GCC sites that include the University of North Carolina, University of Southern California, Baylor College of Medicine, and the British Columbia Cancer Center (Canada). The site can be navigated by the page tree directory to the left and has information regarding the rough movement through the GCC pipeline from sample processing to the methodology of data handling and preparation.

The predominant sources of funding for the GCC work (U24 Grant) at the Broad Institute are from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) initiative. The initiative site can be found here with broader views and aims of the project, other GCC sites as well as other types of sites involved in the TCGA project.

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) is a comprehensive and coordinated effort to accelerate our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer through the application of genome analysis technologies, including large-scale genome sequencing.

Our Goal

The overarching goal of TCGA is to improve our ability to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer. To achieve this goal in a scientifically rigorous manner, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)] used a phased-in strategy to launch TCGA. A pilot project developed and tested the research framework needed to systematically explore the entire spectrum of genomic changes involved in more than 20 types of human cancer.

Our Project History

TCGA began as a three-year pilot in 2006 with an investment of $50 million each from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). The TCGA pilot project confirmed that an atlas of changes could be created for specific cancer types. It also showed that a national network of research and technology teams working on distinct but related projects could pool the results of their efforts, create an economy of scale and develop an infrastructure for making the data publicly accessible. Importantly, it proved that making the data freely available would enable researchers anywhere around the world to make and validate important discoveries. The success of the pilot with three initial tumor types led the National Institutes of Health to commit major resources to TCGA to collect and characterize more than 20 additional tumor types.

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