Full TitleScalable, Secure Storage of Biobank Data
Big data is coming to Biobanks, driven by the decreasing cost of sequencing genomic data, which has been halving every 4 months since 2004. Biobanks, used to store and catalogue human biological material, are not prepared to handle this wave of data – there is a Biobank bottleneck: a lack of platform support for the storage and analysis of the coming wave of human genomic data. In this project, we will develop a cloud-computing platform as a service (PaaS) for Biobanking. The platform will provide security, storage, data-intensive tools and algorithms, and support for allowing Biobanks to share data with one another, all within the existing regulatory frameworks for Biobanking. Our research challenges include:
- The definition of the regulatory framework and data model for Biobank data sharing;
- the development of a scalable, highly available storage infrastructure;
- data-intensive tools and workflows for aligning, clustering, aggregating, compressing and anonymizing sequence data; a security platform that ensures data confidentiality, data integrity, and data access auditing;
- the inter-connection of Biobanks, while also leveraging the storage and processing capacity of public clouds ensuring security, dependability and privacy of the stored information;
- and the integration of these components as a PaaS.
The project will require focused inter-disciplinary research.In this way, the consortium comprises several teams with complementary competencies, from developers and users of Biobanks to systems researchers with deep expertise in building dependable and scalable software platforms. Our platform will be evaluated and disseminated at existing Biobanks in Sweden and Germany. Our project goal is to have BiobankCloud remove the Biobank bottleneck, enabling global leadership for European Biobanks, with improved support for preventing diseases, spotting trends, and advancing our understanding of clinical and molecular pathology.