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Grant from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Facilitate Genome Analysis

Author: Julie Kiefer

Aaron Quinlan, PhD, associate director of the Utah Center for Genetic Discovery at University of Utah Health, was awarded funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) that will enhance the usability of software tools for genome analysis. As part of CZI’s Essential Open Source Software for Science program, grants awarded support open source software projects designed to accelerate biomedical research and serve the larger biomedical community.

Created by Quinlan, bedtools is a fast and flexible suite of tools for genome arithmetic which is central to nearly all aspects of genome research. Available as open source software, bedtools allows researchers to quickly compare, contrast, and summarize large genomic dataset and annotations, and is used by researchers worldwide. More than 266,000 downloads and 8,000 citations speaks volumes to the popularity and utility of bedtools. Funding from CZI will allow for improvements to further enhance the usability and efficiency of bedtools and expand the reproducible genomics data ecosystem he is developing with Go Get Data (GGD).

“Genomics analyses are complicated by the need to integrate and compare diverse datasets and annotations found in many different locations, formats, and versions,” Quinlan explains. “Our central goal is to provide software that simplifies such analyses so that researchers can ask evermore more interesting and difficult questions.”

Quinlan’s is one of 32 selected proposals that include 44 total open source projects. Projects include tools for visualizing, analyzing, and managing data for research areas such as genomics, structural biology, cell biology, neuroscience, and more. View the full list of grantees.

CZI supports several areas of basic science and technology with the goal of making it possible to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by the end of this century. The Essential Open Source Software program aims to support software tools in service of this mission.