Dear Colleagues,

Researchers at your cancer center may be interested in a new scientific competition that aims to increase understanding of the genetic basis of breast cancer in diverse populations. Please forward this e-mail to any colleagues that may want to learn more, especially those involved with genetic epidemiology, bioinformatics, and data science.  filehandle 1

The National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) is partnering with Sage Bionetworks for this competition, “Up for a Challenge (U4C)—Stimulating Innovation in Breast Cancer Genetic Epidemiology.”

U4C Goals

Studies suggest that genetic factors play a role in determining who is at increased risk of developing breast cancer, as well as what type of breast cancer they develop. The goal of the Challenge is to encourage innovative approaches to more fully explain the genetic basis of breast cancer. Specifically, the Challenge aims to use innovative approaches to identify novel pathways—including new genes or combinations of genes, genetic variants, or sets of genomic features—involved in breast cancer risk in order to generate new biological hypotheses. Through this Challenge, NCI aims to increase the number and diversity of researchers addressing a difficult problem by encouraging broader collaborations. Ideally, this will result in new insights that could help improve breast cancer prevention, screening, and/or treatment.

Breast Cancer GWAS Data Available for U4C

U4C participants will be able to apply for controlled access to genetic epidemiologic data from thousands of breast cancer cases and controls from ethnically diverse populations. Some of these data sets are being made available to researchers for the first time for this Challenge.

U4C Prizes

NCI will award up to $50,000 and other prizes based on the identification of novel findings, replication of findings, innovation of approach, evidence of novel biological hypotheses, and collaboration. The U4C offers participants an opportunity to advance scientific knowledge of the causes of breast cancer, the second most common cancer in the world.

For More Information

See the NCI’s Cancer Currents blog post and visit the U4C website for more information about the U4C goals, application, due dates, rules, and other FAQs. Anyone interested in learning more about this Challenge can also register for a webinar (details are included below).


Webinar: “Everything You Need to Know About NCI’s Up For a Challenge (U4C)”

Date: Thursday, July 23

Time: 1-2 pm Eastern (12-1 pm Central, 11 am-12 noon Mountain, 10-11 am Pacific)

To register for the webinar, visit: