Nuwan Goonasekera shares in Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant for the Galaxy Project

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8 December 2020 …  

Melbourne Bioinformatics is pleased to announce the Galaxy Project has been awarded a $190k USD grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) as one of the projects in their Essential Open Source Software for Science (EOSS) program. This program supports software maintenance, growth, development and community engagement for critical tools in biomedical research. The grant has been awarded to partners at the Oregon Health & Sciences University, Johns Hopkins University and Melbourne Bioinformatics at the University of Melbourne.

The project: Extending Galaxy for Large-scale and Integrative Biomedical Analyses will:

  • extend Galaxy to allow easy browsing and importing of datasets from large data repositories
  • enable Galaxy to efficiently use cloud computing resources for large-scale, near-data computing
  • extend Galaxy integration with other data science environments.

The aim is for life science researchers to more simply view, fetch and analyse data from Google storage and the CZI Human Cell Atlas using Galaxy, demonstrating how Galaxy can enable greater data sharing on the cloud. New functionality in the Kubernetes-based deployment of Galaxy will give direct access to remote object data storage; improving performance by skipping the need for a shared file system. Interactive Tools, starting with Jupyter, will also be enabled to operate on the Kubernetes deployment of Galaxy, making this a portable, robust method of deploying these tools for Galaxy anywhere.

The software development in this project will help solidify the Kubernetes-based version of Galaxy as a full-featured, robust solution for deploying a production-quality, scalable version of Galaxy on any computing platform, from laptop to computing cluster to a commercial computing cloud. The project will benefit many life science researchers and ensure the further expansion of the global Galaxy community.

Congratulations in particular to our Melbourne Bioinformatics project team member, Dr Nuwan Goonasekera and his colleague, Dr Enis Afgan, who worked with Nuwan in Melbourne on Galaxy Australia for several years prior to moving across to Johns Hopkins University.

Assoc Prof Andrew Lonie, Australian BioCommons Director and Senior Advisor at Melbourne Bioinformatics, is particularly pleased with this news:

This team has been working together for some years now, first building the Genomics Virtual Laboratory and more recently developing features for Galaxy to function better in distributed and cloud computing environments. This project grant acknowledges, formalises and strengthens this collaboration, enabling more coordinated efforts and, through that work, better infrastructure for our life science researchers.

The team will be kicking off this project in early 2021 and welcomes input and contributions from the growing, global Galaxy community.