The Global Biodata Coalition (GBC) is pleased to announce the appointment of its founding Executive Director, Dr Guy Cochrane, after an extensive global search.
The GBC is a coalition of life sciences and biomedical research funders that aims to optimize the funding and management of biodata resources worldwide. The GBC has two priority aims: to better coordinate and share approaches for efficient management and growth of the biodata infrastructure, and to stabilize and ensure sustainable financial support for the global biodata infrastructure.
GBC is building a global inventory of biodata resources, addressing open access and sustainability, and will soon designate the first set of Global Core Biodata Resources that will inform discussions between funders on how to sustain key biological data globally.
Guy Cochrane is currently Team Leader for Data Coordination and Archiving and Head of the European Nucleotide Archive at the EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). With this new appointment, Dr Cochrane’s time will be shared between his role at the EMBL-EBI and the GBC.
Dr Cochrane has over two decades of experience working with and leading biodata resources. In his role as leader of the European node of the long-standing International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration, Dr. Cochrane is an authority on large-scale international sequence data sharing. Dr. Cochrane led the adaptation and extension of the European Nucleotide Archive for the purposes of rapid global pathogen data sharing, which is the foundation for the European COVID-19 Data Platform that Dr. Cochrane also leads. Dr Cochrane has an impressive record of attracting funding for biodata resources, working with research funders, and managing international collaborations to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the global biodata resource infrastructure.
“We are delighted that Dr Cochrane is joining the GBC,” said Prof Warwick Anderson, Transitional Chair of the GBC Board of Funders and previously Secretary-General, Human Frontier Science Program Organization. “His expertise and extensive work with biodata resources will provide strong leadership to the GBC as we move into this next exciting phase of development”.
Dr Eric Green, Director of the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute and GBC co-convenor, added, “We look forward to working with Dr. Cochrane as GBC’s first Executive Director. He has already worked productively with numerous research funders and biodata resources worldwide in efforts to pave the way towards sustained support for the global biodata ecosystem.”
Dr Cochrane joins the GBC at an exciting time. Specifically, the GBC’s scientific activities (https://globalbiodata.org/scientific-activities/) have begun, with work on developing the Global Inventory of Biodata Resources in progress as well as the opening of the process to select the initial set Global Core Biodata Resources.
“I am excited at this opportunity to lead the Global Biodata Coalition in its work to aid global research funders in support of the global biodata infrastructure, which is facing unprecedented growth amidst very modest increases in funding for biodata resources,” said Dr Cochrane.
Exponential increases in data production pose tremendous challenges to managing life sciences and biomedical data globally. The GBC joins other international organizations, such as the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health and the International HundredK+ Cohorts Consortium, in aiding funders and stakeholders to address these challenges to ensure long-term support and sustainability for this crucial research infrastructure.