The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) at the National Cancer Institute recently launched the Cancer Genomics and Epidemiology Navigator (CGEN), an online resource for the research community. The purpose of CGEN is to assist cancer researchers in navigating existing resources and integrating available information from NCI-funded research projects, publications, and evidenced-based guidelines, and linking them with other sources of data. Ultimately, CGEN serves as a tool to accelerate cancer epidemiologic research.
CGEN was created in response to the concerns of researchers and grantees who reported having difficulty finding information about funded research and publications specific to cancer epidemiology and genomics. To increase transparency, create linkages to existing resources, and respond to researchers’ concerns, EGRP, in conjunction with Information Management Services, Inc. (IMS), created CGEN, an integrated, searchable, and regularly updated knowledge base intended to facilitate epidemiologic research.
CGEN collates information derived from multiple sources into a centralized search engine to assess the impact of genomic, environmental, and clinical factors on cancer occurrence and outcomes. It has full-text searching and filtering capabilities that make it possible to search data fields across all data sources within the knowledge base. These data sources include:
- Currently funded and previously funded EGRP grants from the NIH IMPAC-II database.
- Publications resulting from NCI’s intramural research in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG).
- Publications resulting from extramural research funded by EGRP and publications by EGRP staff.
- Cancer-related publications from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Human Genome Epidemiology (HuGE) Navigator.
- Evidence-based guidelines and recommendations for cancer-related genomic tests and applications from the CDC HuGE Navigator GAPP Finder.
- Detailed information about genomic tests (cancer-related genomic tests and applications from the GAPP Finder).
- Cancer genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and genomics meta-analyses from the HuGE Navigator.
- EGRP-funded studies that have genomic data available for research in the NIH Genotype and Phenotype Database (dbGAP).
How Can CGEN Benefit Researchers?
CGEN offers many features to assist researchers in finding information related to cancer epidemiology. For example, as a user you can:
- Use the “Search CGEN” tool to find broad-based information on a particular risk factor. For example, in a search for information on smoking, CGEN will search all data sources for linked data on smoking and return relevant results, including published literature relating to smoking, current and past NCI-funded grants on smoking, population studies on smoking-related genes, and more.
- Explore EGRP active grants to identify gaps in the NCI-supported grant portfolio that could guide your research agenda.
- Peruse publications from EGRP active grants to find peer-reviewed articles that have resulted from currently funded EGRP grants.
- Identify potential collaborations with experts in a particular area by filtering the list of principal investigators by their links to EGRP active or inactive grants and cancer sites.
- Find an NCI study section for a proposed application by searching for past and current EGRP grants with similar features.
Invitation to Share Comments
EGRP invites you to test out CGEN and send us your feedback, including any suggestions for additional informational resources or potential applications for CGEN in your own research. Comments can be posted below or sent to us directly.
Tram Kim Lam, Ph.D., M.P.H., is a member of the Knowledge Integration Team and a Program Director in EGRP’s Office of the Associate Director and Modifiable Risk Factors Branch, respectively. She engages in a wide range of knowledge integration projects across EGRP and manages a cross-programmatic research grant portfolio that focuses on genetics, infectious agents, and lifestyle factors that influence susceptibility to cancer.
Sheri Schully, Ph.D., is Team Lead for the Knowledge Integration Team in EGRP’s Office of the Associate Director. Dr. Schully’s responsibilities include systematically managing the accumulating knowledge base and tools for cancer epidemiology and genomics to accelerate research, evidence-based recommendations, and translation into prevention and clinical practice. In addition, she manages a portfolio of grants related to factors that influence personal susceptibility to cancer, such as genetic and hormonal factors.