Analysis Working Groups

GeneLab Analysis Working Groups Charter


The purpose of the GeneLab Analysis Working Groups (AWGs) is to optimize the processing of raw omics data from the GeneLab repository in order to maximize the gain of new knowledge from such complex datasets. The AWGs will also assess and improve the effectiveness of the GeneLab Data System (GLDS) through intensive utilization of the analytics to be deployed therein.

Organization and Function

The AWGs aspire to scientific excellence, and participation in AWGs is strictly on a volunteer basis. The primary activity of each AWG is to establish analytical processes to generate higher order data from data housed in the GLDS with relevance to one or more specific application areas. For example, a mammalian AWG would analyze all data relevant to mammalian systems (human, mouse, rat, etc.). The GeneLab AWGs aspire to yield:

  1. Canonical data analysis pipelines. The interpretation of analysis results is too often confounded by variability in data-processing protocols. This can make comparison of results between studies even more difficult. By developing canonical analysis pipelines, the AWGs will help speed the harmonization of results across space biology experiments.
  2. Processed (“higher-order”) space biology data. The AWGs will work with GeneLab staff to generate processed data using the canonical analysis pipelines. This higher-order data will be made available to the broader scientific community through the GLDS. This data will serve as a reference to the community on use of the pipelines, and will be fully reproducible using the GLDS and referenced pipelines. Optimal strategies regarding the display of processed data to the scientific community will also be discussed.
  3. Critiques of the GLDS. The value of the GLDS to the scientific community is best judged through extensive use of the systems. As the AWGs will be using the GLDS intensively (see 1 and 2 above), they will be poised to give valuable feedback to GeneLab on its strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Scientific communication of available analyses and interpretations. The AWGs are expected to communicate the development and application of the canonical data analysis pipelines with the broader scientific community. Such communications could take the form of self-published white papers, newsletters, or peer-review publications and conference presentations. These communications will also serve to catalyze the generation of new hypotheses for further experimentation.

Precisely how each AWG reaches these goals will be determined by the AWGs themselves, but, in general, AWGs should hold frequent in-person or virtual meetings to organize work and review progress. The schedule for delivering the above products is set by the Chair in consultation with GeneLab and the other AWG participants.


The constitution of each AWG must meet the following criteria: (1) have at least one participant who possesses application area expertise; (2) have at least one participant who possesses bioinformatics expertise; (3) have at least one representative from GeneLab. AWG participants are chosen based on a candidate’s ability to provide the scientific or data analysis insight necessary to achieve the AWG goals. AWG participation is entirely voluntary and participants will not be compensated.

Chairs - All AWGs will have a chair (or co-chairs) selected by GeneLab, with input from the scientific community and/or participants of the AWG. Chairs will lead the AWGs and will draft a schedule and review progress of each AWG towards achieving their goals. Chairs will serve for the life of the AWGs, unless they decide to step down, at which time GeneLab or the remaining participants of the AWG will appoint a new Chair.

GeneLab Representative - Each AWG will have a designated representative from GeneLab to help ensure outcomes of the work meet GeneLab criteria and to otherwise support the work of the AWG. A GeneLab representative can also be chair of an AWG.

Coordinators – The following Coordinators will be selected on a volunteer basis by each AWG. Multiple coordinating functions may be performed by a single Coordinator.

  • Analysis Coordinator - The analysis coordinator tracks the progress of individual analyses, ensuring that analyses are done in a consistent and reproducible manner, sets deadlines for completion of individual analyses, and collects and organizes interim and final analysis results.
  • Communication Coordinator – Assembles information for newsletter or manuscript sections, ensures consistency in writing and figure styles, and sets goals for the completion of articles or newsletter.

Expectations for AWG Participation

Participation in GeneLab AWGs is open to all investigators (academic, government, private sector); however participants must be willing to:

  1. Contribute significantly to the goals of the AWG.
  2. Take part in group activities including periodic teleconferences. Participants are expected to actively contribute to the group goals (see above).
  3. Share AWG products with other AWG participants via the collaborative workspace provided by the GLDS.

An investigator that would like to take part in any AWG(s) should provide a description of their expertise in the relevant area of analysis to GeneLab, and must sign a statement of acknowledgement of the Expectations for AWG Participation (see above). Requests for participation in AWGs will be reviewed by GeneLab and the AWG chairs who must reach a consensus to allow the applicant to participate. The AWG chair(s) and GeneLab will review participation in each group yearly.

Benefits of AWG Participation

By participating within a GeneLab AWG, investigators will join a group of scientific excellence and may co-author a landmark paper. They will help set data and analysis standards for the community, and may develop relationships that could lead to additional collaborations.