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D4: Data Management and Workflow

Theme leads: Professor Tiziana Margaria, Professor of Cancer Bioinformatics, 

This group will build an integrated platform for translational cancer research using advanced techniques of software, data and system integration: the Cancer Research Digital Thread. This unique environment will support experimental and standardised research processes and clinical pathways across the entire data management cycle (collection, access, analysis, and reporting), in compliance with the evolving security and privacy requirements.

This group will develop an advanced data and process management infrastructure that enables the other groups to access the beyond state-of-the-art technology needed to tackle the “information logistics” and “decision making” needed for precision medicine.

The integration will span the entire LCRC knowledge and practice network, from the lab to the clinic and to the patients’ home, enabling new insights to immediately and seamlessly spread to the pathology, diagnostics, prognostics and treatment monitoring. This unprecedented integration will  speed up the collaboration across disciplines and professions, and systematically improve the discovery-evaluation-implementation pipeline in academic, clinical and non-clinical settings.

The ultimate beneficiaries are the patients and the society.

The platform activity of this group originates from a DAAD Germany-Brazil project that injected data and process landscaping led by Prof. Tiziana Margaria into an ongoing large scale multidisciplinary study on cancer-related cachexia led by Prof. Marilia Seelaender, director of the Cancer Metabolism Research Group, Institute of Biomedical Sciences at Universidade de São Paulo (USP). A full model of the highly interdisciplinary activities and several deep-dives into data and computation management, data integration, and governance showed the staggering yet untapped potential for a holistic approach to interdisciplinary and intersectoral cancer research.

In UL, two ongoing ULCaN pilot projects address workflows for myeloma diagnosis (Prof R Clifford, Prof T. Margaria and Prof P. Murray) and data analytics for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (Prof P. Murray, Prof R. Clifford, Prof T. Margaria), as proof of concept pilots for the workflow and data analytics pillars of the Cancer Research Digital Thread platform, respectively.

Building an integrated platform for translational research and advanced precision medicine enables swift reactive and proactive collaboration with industry, enabling a fast and wider range impact at the local, national, and global scale. This group will be at the heart of translational medicine across Limerick forging partnerships between fundamental science and engineering academic excellence, clinical practice and industry. Underpinning as a Digital Thread the entire span of the LCRC, this regional infrastructure will in turn link with current national programs, such as the Precision Oncology Ireland consortium, further highlighting the regions expertise.