SMC-RNA BioVis Data Visualization DREAM Challenge


For the first time this year, the Biovis Data Contest Contest will be organized as part of the Sage Bionetworks DREAM challenges.

IMPORTANT! Please visit our pre-registration site for details about the contest and to pre-register to receive updates about the challenge.

A slide deck from the challenge announcement at BioVis@ISMB 2016 is available on Slideshare.


The recently announced 2016 SMC-RNA (somatic mutation calling-RNA) DREAM Challenge rests on the increasing emphasis and importance of RNA biology. The SMC-RNA Challenge focusses on a specific kind of aberrant genes namely fusion genes. Putative genomic rearrangements in cancer cells produce fusion transcripts further translating into fusion proteins containing chimeric domains from two genes. Gene fusions have an important role in the initial steps of tumorigenesis. Specifically, gene fusions have been found to be the driver mutations in neoplasia and have been linked to various tumor subtypes. Fusion genes are often manifest as isoforms. Conceptually, Isoforms are alternative expressions of a gene formed from splicing and RNA-editing or aberrant splicing that could occur during post-transcriptional processing.

Our SMC-RNA BioVis Data Visualization DREAM Challenge investigates the role of visualization in supporting the identification and characterization of gene fusions and isoforms and is calling for entries that will enhance the understanding of biology. At a broad level, we would like to answer questions such as “How one can identify and visualize in a single sample the population of isoforms present and relative abundance of each?” or “How one can compare across a cohort to id regions with common isoforms or mutually exclusive isoforms in cancer?”.


The challenge is anticipated to launch in the summer of 2016 and is expected to run though the fall/winter of 2016.