News Article
March 28, 2018

2018 Kidney Cancer Hackathon

To be held May 18th-20th, 2018 in conjunction with SVAI is organizing a (free) p1RCC hackathon in conjunction with SVAI

SVAI released the hackathon announcement on April 9th and in 24 hours, received requests for participation from Stanford, Yale, Clemson, Purdue, UC Berkeley, UCSF, CMU, UW, USF, UC Davis, Genetech, T-Gen, Zymergen, Facebook, Apple, Salesforce, Cisco and IBM.

Much of this response is due to SVAI’s formula in making my (90x) Blood and Tumor DNA and Tumor RNA available for examination from that group.  I believe this to be just one of the Benefits of making my data public.

Several groups were working on their submissions before the announcement.  Two groups: LeLand Dunwoodie from Alex Feltus' Systems Genetics Lab at Clemson and Stanford's Avantika Lal, have clustered the entire TCGA using two separate methods and will announce their results at the hackathon.  This is similar to the pan-cancer approach mentioned here, but Clemson and Stanford each have different results to report.

I have been working very hard to encourage this pan-cancer approach from both groups.  My hope is that by studying the relationships between ALL cancers, we can get some insights into the rarer ones (including mine).

If you know of anyone who might be interested, please pass this email along.  I have included a more formal announcement below.


- Bill



(Subject line) Invitation: Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma Hackathon

Hi everyone,

I would like to bring to your attention an exciting event that will be held May 18-20, 2018 in San Francisco, CA: p1RCC Hackathon, the second computational cancer genomics event in Silicon Valley Artificial Intelligence’s (SVAI) Collaborative Research Series.

This is an intense weekend during which interdisciplinary teams will work to further understand, develop potential interventions, and advance the standard of care for papillary renal-cell carcinoma type 1 (p1RCC) in partnership with, Salesforce, Google, NIH, and NCBI. In addition to sequencing a patient for this event, we will use genomic datasets for p1RCC through the NIH's Cancer Genome Atlas. 

We will invite 150 researchers, engineers and enthusiasts to join us at Salesforce in San Francisco for an intense weekend of exploration in computational biomedicine. If you are interested, you can apply hereThe registration deadline is Friday, May 4 at 11:59pm.  

Our goals are to:

  • Advance papillary renal-cell carcinoma research
  • Contribute to real, ongoing patient case.
  • Create interdisciplinary opportunities for computer scientists and biologists.
  • Learn and develop skills in AI/Machine Learning, computational biology and cancer genomics.
  • Build an open community for collaborative biomedicine discovery.

The full event details, agenda and speakers are coming soon. However, you can see what to expect through the details of our first collaborative research which focused on Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) here: NF2 Research Event. This event brought together an incredible crowd in June 2017, creating significant momentum for NF2 research and our NF2 patient community partner.

Further details and updates can be found on our website:

If you have questions, please email me at



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