CRC Convergence Program
Colorectal cancer remains the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States with over 150,000 new cases in 2022 and a 4% lifetime risk . Physicians and scientists continue to work to reduce colorectal cancer risk through earlier detection, more precise diagnosis, and targeted treatments. These efforts benefit from continual innovations in genomic technologies that have led to remarkable new insights at both the personal genome and single cell levels. While these genomic measurement technologies provide increasingly more data for analysis, the rapid advances present a challenge for even seasoned researchers to properly identify meaningful biological signals from technology-specific noise. Therefore, specialized programs are required to allow both biologists and data scientists gain the expertise needed to empower discovery in data-driven cancer research.
To address this challenge, we have created a new comprehensive program that will provide ready access to the data, experts, and training in the latest computational methods most relevant to colorectal cancer. This program will contain three components that span the course of each year:
- A CollaborationFest (CoFest! for short) that provide hands-on experience with real world colorectal cancer datasets from state-of-the-art genomics technologies
- Practical Genomics workshop to prepare for the CoFest! by providing didactic training in data analysis for new technologies, and
- A named lecture that brings together data scientists and technology developers with a distinguished lectureship dedicated to colorectal cancer.
Providing these three components in a coordinated way allows us to harness the tremendous advances in genomics and data science by empowering the next generation of researchers to better understand colorectal cancer and ultimately discover new biomarkers and therapies to improve patient care. This program enables trainees to independently participate in multidisciplinary research, providing them with training vital to their careers and the advancement of cancer research that is not typically available to biomedical researchers or data scientists.