Data Coordinating Center

The HTAN Data Coordinating Center (DCC) proudly supports each of the HTAN atlas teams and pilot programs as well as the broader Network by coordinating Network activities; providing centralized resources for data and resource storage and access within HTAN as well as dissemination to the wider scientific community; developing powerful data analysis and visualization tools to enable researchers to make novel discoveries using HTAN data; and conducting outreach to the community. Within HTAN, the DCC also leads various efforts to develop an extensible data model as well as clinical data and metadata standards that will ensure the accessibility and interoperability of HTAN data with the wider cancer research data ecosystem.

Comprised of individuals from four institutions, the DCC team brings to HTAN extensive experience participating in major research consortia, including TCGA, AACR Project GENIE, and the Cancer Systems Biology Consortium, as well as leading open-source software development projects such as cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics, Synapse, and the ISB Cancer Genomics Cloud (ISB-CGC) and community engagement projects such as DREAM Challenges. The DCC team draws upon this collective experience and deep technical expertise in biomedical science and data science to support the goals of HTAN and to promote a collaborative research and discovery environment within HTAN and the wider cancer research community.



Dr. Ethan Cerami is Director of the Knowledge Systems Group and Principal Scientist in the Department of Data Sciences at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). He has an M.S. in Computer Science from New York University and a Ph.D. in Computational Biology from Cornell University. Prior to joining Dana-Farber, Dr. Cerami was Director of Computational Biology at Blueprint Medicines and Director of Cancer Informatics Development at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). While at MSKCC, Dr. Cerami co-founded the cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics, and his current group at DFCI remains active in its continued development while also being central contributors to other major consortium efforts such as the NCI-funded Cancer Immunologic Data Commons and AACR Project GENIE.


Dr. Justin Guinney is Director of Computational Oncology at Sage Bionetworks. As an expert in large-scale analysis of genomic data, he has worked extensively with clinicians to link models to complex cancer phenotypes. His research is focused on the development of integrative modeling approaches in cancer using large-scale biomedical and high-throughput genomic data, with an emphasis on translational cancer research and the utilization of molecular data to optimize the prediction of patient outcomes and response to treatment. Dr. Guinney has played key leadership roles in several large cancer consortia, including the Colorectal Cancer Molecular Subtyping Consortium, AACR Project GENIE, and the Neo-epitope Prediction Consortium. He is currently also PI for the Data and Resource Coordinating Center for the NCI Cancer Systems Biology Consortium and co-PI on the CRI iAtlas project, a platform supporting immune oncology research. In addition, Dr. Guinney is co-director of the DREAM Challenges and has led several challenges related to cancer prognosis, combination therapy, and image analysis of digital mammograms.


Dr. Niki Schultz is Associate Attending in the Computational Oncology Service of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Affiliate Member of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). As head of the Knowledge Systems Group in the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology, he leads development of the cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics, a web-based resource for analysis of complex cancer genomics data, and of OncoKB, a precision oncology knowledge base. His research focuses on identifying the genomic alterations that underlie cancer, their mechanisms of action, and novel therapeutic approaches. Dr. Schultz has made significant contributions to several projects of TCGA and AACR Project GENIE, and he is an investigator in the Stand Up to Cancer Prostate Cancer Dream Team. He has a particular interest in enabling discoveries by developing novel computational methods and databases that help bridge the divide between computer scientists on one side and clinicians and researchers on the other.


Dr. Vésteinn Thorsson is a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Systems Biology. His research encompasses cancer genomics and immuno-oncology, and he has extensive experience working with data analysis and data coordination in collaborative cancer genomics projects. As part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network, Dr. Thorsson contributed substantially to published studies on gastrointestinal tumors, including serving as both Data and Analysis Coordinator and playing a key role in determining gastric molecular subtypes. Dr. Thorsson also served as Co-Chair of a working group that recently completed a comprehensive analysis of all TCGA gastrointestinal tumor samples and of a working group dedicated to characterizing immune response in the more than 10,000 TCGA tumor samples. In addition, he serves as a project lead for the CRI iAtlas project (, an interactive web resource for immuno-oncology research.