The German Human Genome-Phenome Archive


Human genome sequencing and other omics data modalities are of critical importance for biomedical research and the future development of healthcare. GHGA will provide the infrastructure to meet both the desire to handle omics data in an open and FAIR manner and the need to keep personal data safe and secure. Other than other European infrastructures, as a National consortium, GHGA will have the ability to address the legal requirements specific to Germany, enabling German researchers to help shape future international standards for data exchange and take on leading roles in international research consortia.

Applicant Institution: The German Cancer Research Center DKFZ, Heidelberg
Spokesperson: Dr. Oliver Stegle

GHGA Letter of Intent

Core Objectives of GHGA

  1. Provide a national secure and trustworthy long-term archive of human omics data federated with the EGA
  2. Streamline data deposition by direct data and metadata transfer from major national omics centers
  3. Provide central infrastructure for distributed data access committees, thereby facilitating data access and reuse for research
  4. Engage communities to encourage responsible data sharing of omics data and train members of the communities to leverage the scientific potential of data infrastructures and community reference datasets.
  5. Address legal and ethical barriers to data sharing through a unified ethico-legal framework
  6. Reach out to communities and train the next generation of scientists on efficient and responsible use and management of omics data in research
  7. Increase FAIRness of omics data and facilitate embedding with national and international data resources and infrastructures
  8. Provide community-specific data portals to meet their specific needs for datasets and analytical tools.
  9. Democratize access to and analysis/reprocessing of large-scale omics data for research through a cloud-based analytics platform
  10. Increase the value of research data by integrating multiple omics modalities and connecting omics data to phenotype data


12. Feb. 2020 - Website Goes Online

The German Human Genome-Phenome Archive, which will be federated with the EGA, and which is designed to archive and facilitate analysis of human access controlled research data from Germany, has gone live today with a pilot version, distributing research data from Heidelberg and Tübingen. We look forward to its use by human biology, genetics and disease research communities.


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The Structure of the consortium

GHGA is tightly embedded and connected to international infrastructures and initiatives. It will be operated as a local node within the European Genome-Phenome Archive (EGA) federation framework.

The Consortium within the NFDI

GHGA has a unique role within the network of federated research data infrastructure consortia (NDFI, Nationale Forschungsdateninfrastruktur) as it is the only consortium managing controlled/access omics data. It aims at linking this data to other consortia, especially in the biomedical field, and thereby become a central component of a long-term research data management strategy within the NFDI. In particular the coordination with NFDI4MED and NFDI4Health will provide complementary expertise on the management and record linkage of medical records and other non-omics data types.
GHGA is in full support of the Berlin Declaration on NFDI Cross-Cutting Topics.

Several contributors or participants of GHGA are also involved in the NFDI proposals for NFDI4Microbiota, BERD@NDFI, FAIRmat, NFDI4Earth, NFDI4Ing, NFDI4Text+, NFDI-Astro, NFDI4MED, NFDI4HEALTH, DataPlant, NFDI4Chem
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The Board of Directors

Initially, the board of directors will be formed by:

  • Oliver Stegle
  • Oliver Kohlbacher
  • Eva Winkler
  • Jan Korbel

Once GHGA starts its operations, the board will consist of elected members.

The Governance Structure of GHGA

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(Co-)Applicant Institutions and Principal Investigators

Institution Principal Investigators
The German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg Oliver Stegle, Benedikt Brors, Ivo Buchhalter, Daniel Hübschmann, Martin Lablans, Peter Lichter
Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen Oliver Kohlbacher, Jens Krüger, Sven Nahnsen, Thomas Walter
University Hospital Tübingen Holm Graessner, Nisar Malek, Stephan Ossowski, Olaf Rieß
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin Michael Hummel, Thorsten Schlomm
Technische Universität München Julien Gagneur, Thomas Meitinger, Juliane Winkelmann
Europäisches Laboratorium für Molekularbiologie, Heidelberg Oliver Stegle, Peer Bork, Wolfgang Huber, Jan Korbel
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin Dieter Beule, Uwe Ohler
Technische Universität Dresden Andreas Dahl, Wolfgang E. Nagel
University Hospital Heidelberg Dirk Jäger, Julio Saez-Rodriguez, Christoph Schickhardt, Eva Winkler
Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Heidelberg Fruzsina Molnár-Gábor
Universität zu Köln Viktor Achter, Ulrich Lang, Susanne Motameny
Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel Philip Rosenstiel
Helmholtz Zentrum München Thomas Meitinger, Annette Peters, Juliane Winkelmann
Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V., Bonn Joachim Schultze
Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken Jörn Walter
German National Cohort, Heidelberg ---

Partner Institutions and Principal Investigators

Institution Principal Investigators
EMBL-EBI - European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge, UK Thomas Keane
CISPA - Helmholtz Center for Information Security, Saarbrücken Mario Fritz, Ninja Marnau
Leibniz-Rechenzentrum, München Stephan Hachinger
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig Alice McHardy
National Center for Tumor Diseases, Heidelberg and Dresden Stefan Fröhling, Hanno Glimm


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Initially, the focus of GHGA will be on the cancer and rare disease communities. Major data generators will be encouraged to deposit their data in GHGA, and community reference datasets (i.e. data likely to be used regularly in downstream analyses) will be developed. Interactions with the communities will take place in targeted workshops, and via talks and/or panel discussions at general conferences and meetings.

On a broader scale, interactions will also take place with other GHGA users, including human omics data researchers, data scientists, clinical researchers, physicians, and citizen scientists.

An important aim of GHGA is to reach out to patient representatives and the general public, to raise awareness for the value of omics research and data sharing, while addressing general concerns and questions about the safety, privacy and data ownership when using such large scale human data.

GHGA received Letters of Support from the following Institutions and Societies

  • European Alliance for Personalised Medicine EAPM
  • Global Alliance for Genomics & Health GA4GH
  • German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure de.NBI
  • McGill University - Centre of Genomics and Policy CGP
  • ELIXIR Europe
  • Tryggve and Tryggve 2 Projects
  • Genomics England
  • Deutsches Konsortium für Translationale Krebsforschung DKTK
  • European Open Science Cloud EOSC
  • International Cancer Research Consortium, ICGC-ARGO Project
  • Allianz Chronischer Seltener Erkrankungen ACHSE
  • National Aktionsplan für Menschen mit Seltenen Erkrankungen NAMSE
  • European Canadian Cancer Network EUCANCan
  • International Human Epigenome Consortium IHEC
  • NFDI4Microbiota Consortium
  • European Reference Network for Rare Neurological Diseases ERN-RND and European Reference Network for Rare Kidney Diseases ERKNet
  • H2020 Project Solve-RD
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe e.V. DGGG
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin e.V. DGIM
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurologie DGN
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Senologie e.V.
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gastroenterologie, Verdauungs- und Stoffwechselkrankheiten DGVS
  • Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft e.V. DKG
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für HNO-Heilkunde, Kopf- und Hals-Chirurgie e.V.
  • Institut für Pathologie, Universitätsklinik Dresden
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Microsoft Deutschland


Dr. Oliver Stegle (DKFZ Heidelberg)
Prof. Dr. Oliver Kohlbacher (Universität Tübingen)

Legal Notice

Informationspflicht laut § 5 TMG.


Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Telefon: +49 (0)6221 420
Telefax: +49 (0)6221 422995

UID-Nummer: DE 143293537

Telefon: +49 (0)6221 420
Telefax: +49 (0)6221 422995

Persons authorised to represent

Chairman and Scientific Director: Prof. Dr. Michael Baumann
Administrative Director: Ursula Weyrich
(address like above)

Project Leads

Dr. Oliver Stegle
Prof. Dr. Oliver Kohlbacher


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