Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. These tumors can develop anywhere in the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves. NF is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood.
Every year, scientists and clinicians who focus on advancing basic, translational and clinical research in NF gather at the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s NF conference to foster important discussion and collaboration within the NF community. As a prelude to the NF conference, this year the 2nd NF Hackathon took place from September 13–15, and experts from QIAGEN participated, helping to broaden NF awareness and introduce new perspectives to NF research.
During the three-day event, participants explored and analyzed data from the NF Data Portal, the leading open source collection of genomic and clinical data dedicated to this genetic disorder. This year, the NF Hackathon focused on analyzing diverse datasets including genomic, drug screening, drug-target association, imaging and other data for all the three types of NF (NF1, NF2, Schwannomatosis).
Team QIAGEN was among the winners of the hackathon, with their submission ‘Inferring regulators and pathways involved in NF1 and NF2 tumors originating from Schwann cells using gene expression data’. They used several QIAGEN bioinformatics tools in their analyses, including OmicSoft Array Studio, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and the QIAGEN Knowledge Base. The team concluded that NF1 and NF2 are clearly differentiated, and that their approach is able to discriminate between tumor types by identifying drivers and signaling cascades. The team also identified potential therapeutic targets, including SMARCA4. As a result of their findings, Team QIAGEN was selected to present their work at the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s NF conference, held recently from Sept. 21–24 in San Francisco.
Congratulations to all the winners!