Big Data Colloquium Distinguished Speaker – Dr. Jianjiong Gao

Thanks to the advancements of technology such as next-generation sequencing, an overwhelming amount of cancer genomics data has been generated by large-scale cancer genomics projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). This has imposed an increasing challenge in the translation of the wealth of the resulting “big data” into biological discoveries and clinical applications. In this talk, I will present two major platforms we developed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to address this challenge: cBioPortal and OncoKB. The cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics ( collects, integrates, and visualizes multi-dimensional, high-level cancer genomics and clinical data. It was specifically designed to lower the barriers of access to complex data sets and thereby accelerate the translation of genomic data into new biological insights. As an example, I will discuss how this system enabled us to identify novel driver cancer mutations in protein 3D structures. OncoKB ( is a comprehensive knowledge base for precision oncology, collecting experimental evidence and clinical implications of genetic variants in cancer, which is manually curated by researchers and clinicians from various sources. Combining cBioPortal and OncoKB, our goal is to develop systematic approaches for molecular-based clinical decisions support for precision cancer medicine.