NetApp | How Genomic Big Data Enhances Health and Wellness

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How Genomic Big Data Enhances Health and Wellness

CIO of WuXi NextCODE shares how data impacts the results of genomic analysis.

Sep 26, 2018


  • Enabling organizations to leverage genome analysis to improve health and support wellness
  • Activating the only data architecture designed to optimize the use of genomic data
  • Making the genome platform the standard for organizing, mining, and sharing large-sequence dataset

Dr. Hakon Gudbjartsson, PhD and WuXi NextCODE CIO, knows what it takes to be a data visionary. Using sequence data, he and his team are enabling organizations to unlock the power of the genome to enhance health and wellness.

With offices in Cambridge, MA, Shanghai, and Reykjavik, WuXi NextCODE is a genomic information company and global platform for genomic big data. Over the past 20 years, they’ve amassed the world’s largest database of human genome sequences.

“At WuXi NextCODE, we like to call ourselves the ‘internet of DNA’,” Dr. Gudbjartsson said.

If you’re thinking that genomics isn’t a big data challenge, think again. Although all humans share the same DNA, the sequence of it is 100% unique to the individual. If you and a friend were to compare your DNA, you would find about 5 million differences.

“The challenge is to take a dataset of 5 million and figure out the differences or mutations that are important — which ones are the causes of rare diseases, which ones are the causes of cancer, and how to treat patients,” Dr. Gudbjartsson explained.

At the heart of the WuXi NextCODE platform is the genomic relational database, the only data architecture designed to optimize the use of massive genomic data.

By leveraging NetApp® Cloud Data Services, the genome platform makes it possible to integrate data on the fly to deliver unprecedented computational efficiency.

“The benchmark for analyzing genomic data is accessing it from data from 100,000 individuals,” Dr. Gudbjartsson said. “We always had timeouts or file failures. But when we tested this using the NetApp Cloud Volumes Service, it actually finished in less than an hour. That was a great breakthrough for us.”

Today, this architecture underpins preeminent genomics efforts on four continents and is the emerging global standard for organizing, mining, and sharing large-sequence datasets.

Learn more about NetApp Cloud Volumes Service

WuXi NextCODE is a genomic information company using sequence data to improve health for people around the world.

Dr. Hakon Gudbjartsson is the Chief Information Officer of WuXi NextCODE. He has over 35 years of experience in software development. At deCODE genetics he directed the launch of the first web-based personal genomics service, deCODEme, and was also the lead architect and developer of many software systems including a patient identity protection system, a system for patient cohort definitions and reporting.



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