Autism Speaks partner DNAstack is named 2023 Company of the Year

February 27, 2023
Strand of DNA

Autism Speaks congratulates our partner DNAstack on their recent recognition as the 2023 Life Science Company of the Year by Life Sciences Ontario!

This award honors an outstanding company that is contributing to the success of Ontario’s life sciences sector. It represents excellence in research, innovation and leadership—three values perfectly exemplified by DNAstack’s groundbreaking work to unlock the power of genomics and health data through software.

DNAstack has created a cloud-based platform that makes it possible for researchers around the world to easily search and analyze data from partnering organizations. In collaboration with Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, Autism Speaks, Autism Speaks Canada and a consortium of research and healthcare institutions, DNAstack is powering the Autism Sharing Initiative, a project to build the first global network of genetic and clinical autism data. This initiative allows researchers to access multiple de-identified datasets at the same time while maintaining data security and privacy.

“DNAstack’s innovative platform is bringing together the global autism research community and empowering autism researchers in ways never seen before,” says Dr. Dean Hartley, senior director of discovery and translational science at Autism Speaks. “Traditionally, genomic and clinical data has existed in siloed databases, limiting researchers’ ability to access and analyze data across institutions. The Autism Sharing Initiative is changing that dynamic by building a federated platform that drives greater collaborations and ultimately accelerates breakthrough discoveries in autism research.”

In support of the Autism Sharing Initiative, Autism Speaks contributed data from our MSSNG database, the world’s largest autism whole-genome dataset with data from over 11,500 individuals. Recently, researchers from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) used MSSNG data to identify 134 genes associated with ASD that include new genes with new biology, shining a light on the heterogeneity of autism and opening the door to personalized healthcare.

We hope that our continued partnership with DNAstack will drive further discoveries that shift the autism research landscape and ultimately improve the lives of autistic people and their families.

Learn more: