By Tim Stephens, UCSC Public Information Office
David Haussler, distinguished professor of biomolecular engineering at UC Santa Cruz, is among the leaders of a data-sharing alliance that was honored by the White House on Thursday, June 20, at an event highlighting Open Science “Champions of Change.”
Earlier this month, Haussler and other genomics pioneers announced the effort to form an international alliance dedicated to enabling secure sharing of genomic and clinical data. At the White House ceremony, the alliance was among 13 leaders and organizations honored for promoting and using open scientific data and publications to accelerate progress and improve our world.
Haussler accompanied David Altshuler of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and other members of the alliance’s organizing committee to the White House event, where Altshuler accepted the honor on behalf of the global alliance.
According to a White House statement, open sharing of research results is a proven strategy for driving positive change. For example, the rapid and open sharing of genomic data from the Human Genome Project revolutionized biomedical research and spurred major growth in the biotechnology industry. Haussler’s team at UC Santa Cruz was instrumental in allowing open sharing of Human Genome Project data–they assembled the first draft of the human genome sequence and made it available online in 2000, and they created the UCSC Genome Browser, which remains a popular and widely used tool for genomics research.