The TARGET initiative is jointly managed within the National Cancer Institute (NCI) by the Office of Cancer Genomics (OCG)Opens in a New Tab and the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP)Opens in a New Tab. In pursuing its mission, TARGET leverages the strengths and resources of other NCI programs, including the Children's Oncology Group (COG)Opens in a New Tab, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)Opens in a New Tab, the Cancer Genome Characterization Initiative (CGCI)Opens in a New Tab and the Strategic Partnership to Evaluate Cancer Signatures (SPECS)Opens in a New Tab.

TARGET is comprised of five disease-centered projects that form collaborative networks within and across project teams (PT). The PTs include clinicians, pathologists and basic scientists. The Principal Investigators (PI) of each team are members of the COG and participate in its clinical and biological trials. These trials have strict protocols to ensure high quality research samples, including rich clinical annotation, and are the source of the tissues that are collected. All data generated by each TARGET project team is deposited into a publicly accessible database, TARGET Data Matrix. This data portal is managed centrally by the Data Coordinating Center, which is part of the NCI Center for Bioinformatics and Information Technology.

Collaboration among the various groups connected with the TARGET initiative allows for both efficient discovery of therapeutic targets and rapid translation of findings into the clinic, which will ultimately reduce the devastating burden of cancer for children and their families.

View the TARGET Collaborators mapOpens in a New Tab (or view the accessible TARGET Collaborators mapOpens in a New Tab.)

Disease-specific TARGET collaborators are:

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

  • University of Colorado, Aurora, CO
  • University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  • University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Albuquerque, NM
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
  • Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

Kidney Tumors

  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago (Northwestern University), Chicago, IL


  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  • NCI Center for Cancer Research, Bethesda, MD


  • Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX
  • NCI Center for Cancer Research, Bethesda, MD
  • Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Collaborators that work across all TARGET project teams:

Children's Oncology GroupOpens in a New Tab

  • Peter Adamson, M.D. (Chair)

The following are the specific COG groups involved in TARGET research:

  • COG Chair's Office, Philadelphia, PA
  • COG Biopathology Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
  • COG Group Operations and COG Statistics & Data Centers Headquarters, Arcadia, CA

National Cancer Institute (NCI)Opens in a New Tab

Office of Cancer Genomics (OCG)Opens in a New Tab

  • Daniela S. Gerhard, Ph.D. (Director)
  • Jaime M. Guidry Auvil, Ph.D. (Scientific Projects Manager)

Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP), Division of Cancer Treatment and DiagnosisOpens in a New Tab

  • Malcolm A. Smith, M.D., Ph.D. (Associate Branch Chief for Pediatric Oncology)

Data Coordinating Center, NCI Center for Bioinformatics and Information Technology

  • Tanja Davidsen, Ph.D. (Bioinformatics Project Manager)
  • Patee Gesuwan (Bioinformatics Engineer)
  • Leandro Hermida (Bioinformatics Scientist / Software Engineer)


Last updated: March 20, 2014