The TARGET initiative has been jointly managed within the National Cancer Institute (NCI) by the Office of Cancer Genomics (OCG) and the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP). In pursuing its mission, TARGET sets out to leverage the strengths and resources of other NCI programs, including the Children’s Oncology Group (COG)The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the Cancer Genome Characterization Initiative (CGCI), and the Strategic Partnering to Evaluate Cancer Signatures (SPECS).

TARGET is comprised of disease-centered projects that form collaborative networks within and across project teams (PT). The PTs include clinicians, pathologists and basic scientists. The Principal Investigators of each project team are members of the COG and participate in and/or lead its clinical and biological trials. These trials are the source of the tissues that have been collected for TARGET. They follow strict protocols to ensure high quality, clinically annotated research samples are obtained from each patient. All data generated by each TARGET project team is publicly accessible and managed centrally by a Data Coordinating Center within the NCI Center for Bioinformatics and Information Technology. Data can be accessed through the TARGET Data Matrix.

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 map (or view the accessible TARGET Collaborators map).

Disease-specific TARGET collaborating institutions are:

*The names of individual project PIs are provided on the project pages.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)

  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • 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 (through 2015)

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


  • Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT 
  • NCI Center for Cancer Research, Bethesda, MD
  • Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX (formerly)

Collaborators that work across all TARGET project teams:

Children Oncology Group

  • 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)

Office of Cancer Genomics (OCG)

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

OCG Data Coordinating Center

  • Patee Gesuwan
  • Yiwen He 

Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP), Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis

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

NCI Center for Bioinformatics and Information Technology

  • Tanja M. Davidsen, Ph.D.
Last updated: May 20, 2019