History


GA4GH was first conceived in January 2013, when 50 colleagues from eight countries met to discuss the current challenges and opportunities in genomic research and medicine.

2019

April
  • 3rd GA4GH Connect Implementation Meeting brings more than 150 active contributors to the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton, UK to continue advancing GA4GH Strategic Roadmap deliverables.

2018

October
  • 6th GA4GH Plenary Meeting convenes 450+ individuals in Basel, Switzerland to present the first set of deliverables developed under GA4GH Connect. The meeting is co-sponsored by SIB-Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and ELIXIR.

May
  • 2nd GA4GH Connect Implementation Meeting brings together more than 150 active contributors in Toronto, Canada to advance deliverables on the GA4GH Connect Strategic Roadmap.

February

2017

October
  • 2017 Driver Projects announced, bringing in 15 of the world’s leading genomic research and medicine initiatives to help guide GA4GH standards development.

  • GA4GH Connect, a 5-year Strategic Plan, introduces eight new Work Streams focused on delivering the standards and tools most needed for real-world genomic and health-related data sharing.

May
  • GA4GH Strategic Planning Meeting in Hinxton, UK welcomes 100 active contributors to discuss priority focus areas and best practices.

January
  • First rare disease diagnosis made via Matchmaker Exchange links the gene EXTL3 to nine patients across five families around the globe with skeletal, neurological, and immunological abnormalities. The research was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

2016

December
  • Ewan Birney, Co-Director of EMBL-EBI, becomes the third Chair of the GA4GH Steering Committee.

October
  • 4th GA4GH Plenary Meeting brings 350+ community members to Vancouver, Canada to discuss facilitating rapid uptake of GA4GH tools and solutions in real-world settings.

June
April
  • Global Engagement Workshop at ICHG 2016 in Kyoto, Japan, focuses on strengthening GA4GH engagement with international initiatives.

January
  • GA4GH Strategic Advisory Board, chaired by Dr. Harold Varmus, forms to help define the future strategic direction and high-level performance of the organization.

2015

October
  • BRCA Exchange launches as the first product of BRCA Challenge. The web portal pools data on BRCA1/2 genetic variants and corresponding clinical data from around the world.

  • Human Mutation publishes a special issue dedicated to Matchmaker Exchange, featuring 16 articles on the federated MME platform, participating matchmakers, and important aspects of rare disease gene matching.

  • Thomas Hudson, then President of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, becomes the second Chair of the GA4GH Steering Committee.

June
  • 3rd GA4GH Plenary Meeting in Leiden, Netherlands, brings together 200+ individuals to discuss implementation of tools and approaches, the need to integrate with other data sharing efforts, and the importance of global and sector diversity among GA4GH membership.

February
  • BRCA Challenge launches to advance understanding of hereditary breast, ovarian, and other cancers associated with variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

  • GA4GH standards and the “Internet of DNA” listed among MIT Technology Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies for 2015.

January

2014

October
  • 2nd GA4GH Plenary Meeting convenes 250+ individuals in San Diego, USA, to discuss next steps to advance and scale efforts in genomic data sharing.

September
March
  • 1st GA4GH Plenary Meeting convenes 180+ individuals at the Wellcome Trust in London, UK to discuss the need for a global alliance to harmonize genomic and clinical data. Three projects to demonstrate the value of genomic data sharing are identified: Matchmaker Exchange, BRCA Challenge, and Beacon Project.

2013

December
  • Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) becomes the official name of the organization.

July
  • Four Working Groups (Data, Clinical, Security, and Regulatory & Ethics) begin planning work towards the development of interoperable tools for genomic data sharing.

June
  • Plans to form an alliance are publicly announced when 73 partners sign a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI).

  • White Paper is published describing plans to seize the opportunity and need for genomic data sharing.

January
  • GA4GH is first conceived in January 2013, when 50 colleagues from eight countries meet to discuss the current challenges and opportunities in genomic research and medicine.