Physicians Hall Front

Global Biodata Coalition Announces its First Set of Global Core Biodata Resources

Milwaukee, Dec. 16, 2022 – Among those selected is the Rat Genome Database, led by Dr. Anne E. Kwitek, professor of physiology & biomedical engineering at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The Global Biodata Coalition (GBC) announced its first list of Global Core Biodata Resources (GCBRs) – a collection of 37 resources whose long-term funding and sustainability is critical to life science and biomedical research worldwide.

Researchers around the world rely on data resources to manage, curate, and provide access to research data. These resources include deposition databases which archive and preserve primary research data, and knowledge bases which draw together and add value to these data through expert curation and annotation enabling those data to be mined, combined, and used to advance research.

GCBRs represent the most crucial components within the global life science data infrastructure, whose failure would have a critical impact on the global research endeavor. A key property of the GCBRs is that the data they hold is available openly and can be accessed and used without restriction by researchers the world over.

This first set of GCBRs were selected through a rigorous two-stage process open to biodata resources globally. More than 60 resources submitted expressions of interest, for which it was necessary they met several criteria. At each stage of the selection process, the candidate biodata resources were assessed by a panel of more than 50 independent expert reviewers against a series of criteria that included their scientific focus, the size and reach of their user communities, their quality of service, their governance, and their impact on global research.

One of the resources selected was the Rat Genome Database (RGD), which is led by Anne E. Kwitek, PhD, professor of physiology and biomedical engineering at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The RGD was established in 1999, and has evolved into the premier site for genetic, genomic, phenotype, and disease-related data generated from rat research. Its goal is to collect, consolidate, and integrate data from ongoing rat research and make these data widely available to the scientific community. Since being established, the RGD has expanded to include a large body of data for several other species, including human, mouse, dog, pig, and bonobo.

“It’s an honor to have the Rat Genome Database selected to this inaugural list based on its wide, international use as a knowledgebase for the laboratory rat used to study human disease. Every year, nearly 300,000 people visit our database from more than 200 countries worldwide,” said Dr. Kwitek. “We’re fortunate the RGD has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since its inception and fortunate to join our colleagues with critical shared resources in efforts toward sustainable and long-term funding.”

The GBC’s partner funders will now actively work with the community of GCBRs to explore funding models that ensure these biodata resources are able to develop and sustain the critical services they provide to the global research community.

Eric Green, Director of the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute and a GBC Board Member said, “Selecting this first set of GCBRs is an important step for better understanding the broader ecosystem of data resources that are vital to life science and biomedical research. It also represents a starting point for enhanced discussions with various research communities and their funders about how best to ensure the long-term sustainability of vital biodata resources.”

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