A Tribute to NCI’s Dr. Daniela Gerhard, an Open Data Advocate

In the latest episode of the podcast “Personal Genomics,” the Center for Cancer Genomics (CCG) honors the legacy of Dr. Daniela S. Gerhard, a science administrator and open data advocate who spent nearly two decades developing large-scale genomics research programs at NCI, such as the Therapeutically Applicable Research To Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) and translational research program Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD2) Network.

Though Dr. Gerhard’s passion for science and robust work ethic was legendary in the cancer genomics research community, her commitment to data sharing has likewise had a lasting impact. At an NCI level, Dr. Gerhard served on multiple committees to advocate for making genomic data widely available, including the NCI Data Access Committee and the NCI Data Governance Board, and served as a guide for extramural staff navigating the expectations of NIH’s Genomic Data Sharing Policy.

At a program level, Dr. Gerhard encouraged her staff, colleagues, and grantees to dare to share their data broadly. For example, Dr. Gerhard drafted a set of open data sharing guidelines to set expectations about sharing data generated from the CTD2 Network that continues to be emulated today.

Having worked with Dr. Gerhard on CTD2, Dr. Subhashini Jagu, now a health administrator within NCI’s Office Data Sharing, shared that “Dr. Gerhard was a strong open data sharing advocate with a commitment to FAIR data principles. She always encouraged programs to include the expectation of data sharing in the requests for applications and the notice of awards. She also encouraged data submitters to align and harmonize with terms in the cancer Data Standards Registry and Repository (caDSR) to help make the data interoperable when shared.”

Listen to the stories from Dr. Jagu and other colleagues about Dr. Gerhard’s devotion to science, collaboration, and compassion on the CCG podcast webpage.

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