cBioPortal Hackathon 2018

Last month we enjoyed the privilege of joining the latest cBioPortal hackathon, this time hosted by MSKCC at the New York Genome Center and counting with the participation of The Hyve, Dana Farber, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The hackathon was divided into three main tracks.

1. New analysis features track: MSKCC, The Hyve and Children’s Hospital Philadelphia worked together on designing and prototyping a new (and likely long awaited by many) group comparison feature. This new feature will allow users to make custom sets of patients and/or samples which can be subsequently used in different analyses, like for example differential expression analysis or survival analysis.

2. New simplified homepage track: Dana Farber, MSKCC and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre worked together, following a creative process inspired by the Design Sprint, to define and sketch out the new look and the new features for a simplified landing page. The goal of this new page is to make it easier for a novice visitor of the site to start exploring the wealth of data available in cBioPortal.

3. Backend track: a group from MSKCC focused on exploring and trying out GraphQL. The goal of the hackathon was to really try out this technology, with eventual further assessment planned for after the hackathon. The hope is that GraphQL can serve as a way of simplifying the API layer used between the web frontend and the backend, as well as a potential solution for improving the performance of some of the data intensive web pages of the portal.

We want to thank the MSKCC for kindly hosting this event, New York Genome Center for providing the location, and all the “hackers” for these two fun days of work, inspiration and new ideas! We are looking forward to implementing these features (but are looking for a sponsor to fund the effort).