GHGA event at Single Cell Omics Germany conference

GHGA participated in the ‘Single Cell Omics in Clinical Applications’ conference organized by the Single Cell Omics Germany network (SCOG) and GHGA members Joachim Schultze and Jörn Walter from 07 to 09 November in Bonn, Germany. This was a great opportunity to reach out to the single cell community during poster sessions and a speed networking event where experimental and bioinformatics single cell researchers got to meet clinicians (interested in) using single cell technologies. GHGA team members Florian Heyl, Alexander Kyumurkov, Karoline Maurer and Nina Gasparoni mingled and spread the word about GHGA in many insightful conversations.

GHGA also held a satellite event as part of the ‘Data Science’ session on November 09 to more broadly promote GHGA to the single-cell and clinical community with the following presentations:

  • Oliver Stegle (DKFZ Heidelberg) - Towards a national data infrastructure for biomedical genome  research: The German Human Genome-Phenome Archive (GHGA)
  • Fruzsina Molnár-Gábor (Heidelberg University) - Data privacy: not your enemy, rather your ally
  • Eric Apondo (NCT, Heidelberg) - Patient Involvement in Omics Research:  Opportunities of an integrative Approach to Research and Governance

The three speakers introduced the general GHGA concepts and roadmaps, from catalog to archive, atlas and cloud. They highlighted the importance of balancing personal data protection with open and FAIR access to omics data for research. Various aspects of data privacy and anonymization, as well as ethical concerns, were addressed, including how the GHGA can be supportive in this regard (e.g. with the GHGA consent tools), and how patient engagement can provide new ways to address their needs. Raising community awareness on these questions will be important for planning future projects and collecting data in the right way. The roughly 80 participants showed keen interest in the topic, leading to exciting discussions.

Thank you to all the participants for the lively discussion and to all speakers for their input! We are looking forward to continuing this conversation at another single cell conference in the future.