Linking cohorts, understanding biology, improving health

International HundredK+ Cohorts Consortium (IHCC)

IHCC Educational Webinar Series

Providing a collaborative platform for IHCC member cohorts to share scientific ideas, success stories, lessons learned, funding opportunities, and more! 

Join Us Each Month!

IHCC is excited to launch a free monthly educational webinar series open to all IHCC member cohorts and others outside of the organization interested in participating. With the ultimate goal to bring cohorts together to enhance information-sharing and collaboration, this online series aims to provide a forum for cohort members to exchange scientific ideas, best practices, and lessons learned; showcase cohorts’ accomplishments, emphasizing LMICs; share international funding opportunities; and more. Each month a different IHCC member will be featured as a guest speaker.  

Upcoming Webinar

Registration for each webinar is required.  

September's Featured Speaker

Oriol Canela-Xandri

Oriol Canela-Xandri is currently holding a Chancellor’s Fellowship within the University of Edinburgh. As a physicist he has extensive experience in using several programming languages to develop a range of applications, including those designed to run in High Performance Computing environments. He previously developed the DISSECT software, which was designed for analysing very large datasets using the power of large supercomputers. He also participated in developing new statistical methods, and has a wide experience in performing a range of different analyses in UK Biobank. One of his last projects was developing the methods to perform the Gene ATLAS base analysis, as well as designing and developing the web interface. This allows researchers to easily explore using different interactive tools millions of genotype-phenotype associations. The enthusiastic up take of this resource (>300,000 views from around the world), published in Nature Genetics has highlighted the community interest on addressing the current data access and analysis challenges.

Talk Title & Summary

What do iTunes and genetic analyses have in common?

Extracting clinically actionable insights from increasingly large and diverse genetic and health datasets is a key step in addressing medical unmet needs and a key challenge for the next decade. Although human genomic data is doubling in size every seven months, reaching the full potential of this substantial investment relies on our ability to unlock clinically actionable knowledge from it. The key to this is ensuring data access and analysis capabilities are democratised over a range of researchers and institutions with different capabilities, whilst ensuring individual level data is kept safe. However, obstacles to this remain, owing to the data’s unprecedented size, complexity, and restricted access (relating to privacy concerns, economic interests, research limitations, and multi-institutional data fragmentation).

Our research within The University of Edinburgh led us to develop a disruptive and ambitious step forward to address these problems and transform how genetic data is accessed and analysed. The two key elements of our solution, based on a set of novel complex algorithms, are:

  • A core computation engine placed where the data sits, that massively reduces the computation time on large datasets (from days to seconds) using inexpensive commercial hardware.
  • A web platform that enables querying interactively the engine and combine the results from different sources and explore them easily.

On top of providing strict protection of the data (even from the analyst), the web platform developed around the computation engine also addresses others common problems in the field such as reproducibility, storage requirements, and automatic reporting of data usage by strictly logging any action made into the data.

Our ultimate ambition is the creation of an international platform that democratizes data access by enabling easy, interactive and on-demand query of fragmented datasets while largely reducing overall costs, but without requiring data holding organizations to expose their data.

Apply To Be a Speaker

Interested in speaking at an upcoming webinar? Use the form below to provide us with some information on your proposed topic and your availability to speak. 

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We Want to Hear From You!

For questions or feedback regarding the IHCC Educational Webinar Series, or to suggest a speaker for a future meeting, please contact us at