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Sage Bionetworks

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Sage Bionetworks

Sage Bionetworks
Type non-profit organization
Purpose Open science
Headquarters Seattle
Key people
Affiliations Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Sage Bionetworks is a Seattle that promotes open science and patient engagement in the research process. It is housed in the campus of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and led by Stephen Friend who co-founded it with Eric Schadt.[1][2]

Open science

Sage Bionetworks is notable for being an early advocate of open science.[3][4] The company operates a software platform for collaborative data analysis called Synapse[5] that allows researchers to work together on data curation and computational modeling asynchronously in a manner inspired by GitHub. Synapse also serves as the software infrastructure for running computational challenges.[6] Sage is also developing a citizen-science platform called Bridge.[7][8]


The bulk of Sage's scientific results emerge from cancer and neurosciences, with notable contributions to the Cancer Genome Atlas Pan-Cancer project.[9] Another Sage initiative, The Resilience Project[10] describes itself as a search for individuals who have genetic changes expected to cause severe illness but who remain perfectly healthy. The hope is to yield insight into factors that protect these individuals from disease.[11][12]


Sage Bionetworks was founded in 2009 as a spinout of Merck & Co., who released software, hardware, intellectual property, and staff connected to its Rosetta Inpharmatics unit.[13] A donation from Quintiles provided early funding.[14]

In March 2011 Sage partnered with CHDI Foundation to develop computer simulations for studying Huntington's disease. At the same time Sage also announced a partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company wherein Sage would do research to identify biological targets for central nervous system diseases.[15]

In March 2013, Sage Bionetworks merged with the Dialogue on Reverse Engineering Assessment and Methods (DREAM) project.[16]


  1. ^ Kaiser, Jocelyn (2012). "Profile  
  2. ^ "Sage Bionetworks Seattle | Directors". Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. 
  3. ^ Strauss, S. (2011). "Open access consortium". Nature Biotechnology 29 (4): 298.  
  4. ^ Hunter, J.; Stephens, S. (2010). "Is open innovation the way forward for big pharma?". Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 9 (2): 87.  
  5. ^ "Sage Synapse". Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Sage Bionetworks and the Thriving Ecosystem of Challenge-Based Discovery". 2 June 2014. 
  7. ^ O'Hagan, Maureen (11 February 2012). "Seattle's Sage Bionetworks seeks a drug-discovery revolution". Seattle Times. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "Sage Bionetworks Announces Program to Develop BRIDGE: An IT Platform That Leverages Patient Wisdom and Data for 21st Century Biomedical Research". 27 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Chang, K.; Creighton, C. J.; Davis, C.; Donehower, L.; Drummond, J.; Wheeler, D.; Ally, A.; Balasundaram, M.; Birol, I.; Butterfield, Y. S. N.; Chu, A.; Chuah, E.; Chun, H. J. E.; Dhalla, N.; Guin, R.; Hirst, M.; Hirst, C.; Holt, R. A.; Jones, S. J. M.; Lee, D.; Li, H. I.; Marra, M. A.; Mayo, M.; Moore, R. A.; Mungall, A. J.; Robertson, A. G.; Schein, J. E.; Sipahimalani, P.; Tam, A. et al. (2013). "The Cancer Genome Atlas Pan-Cancer analysis project". Nature Genetics 45 (10): 1113–20.  
  10. ^ "The Resilence Project". 
  11. ^ Friend, S. H.; Schadt, E. E. (2014). "Clues from the resilient". Science 344 (6187): 970–2.  
  12. ^ Swartz, Aimee (29 May 2014). "The Search for Genes That Prevent Disease". The Atlantic. 
  13. ^ Timmerman, Luke (6 August 2009). "Stephen Friend, Leaving High-Powered Merck Gig, Lights Fire for Open Source Biology Movement". Xconomy. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Timmerman, Luke (5 October 2009). "Sage Bionetworks, Biology’s Open Source Spark, Snags "Major" Donation from Quintiles | Xconomy". Xconomy. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Sage Bionetworks Launches International Neurobiology Partnerships". Business Wire. 30 March 2011. 
  16. ^ Timmerman, Luke (19 February 2013). "Sage Bionetworks Absorbs Dream, Plans Open Science ‘Challenges’". Xconomy. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 

External links

  • Sage Bionetworks
  • Sage Synapse
  • The DREAM Project
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