Accelerating the Pace of Childhood Cancer Research with Big Data

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Logo

The Childhood Cancer Data Lab was established by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) in 2017. ALSF recognized that pediatric cancer researchers face hurdles that impede the pace of research. 

ALSF introduced the Data Lab to empower researchers and scientists across the globe by removing roadblocks, supporting opportunities for collaboration and sharing, and developing resources to accelerate new treatment and cure discovery.

The Data Lab's mission is to empower pediatric cancer experts poised for the next big discovery with the knowledge, data, and tools to reach it. We construct tools that make vast amounts of data widely available, easily mineable, and broadly reusable. We train researchers and scientists to better understand their own data and to advance their work more quickly.

To date, the Data Lab has trained over 200 childhood cancer researchers and has harmonized over 1.3 million data samples and made them easily available. Learn more about the Data Lab’s impact here. 

Two people looking at goals


The Data Lab develops tools designed to make data and analysis widely available and broadly reusable.

Data Science Workshops

The Data Lab offers workshops to teach researchers the data science skills they need to examine their own data. Our courses focus on the most cutting edge tools and analysis techniques. We ensure that participants walk away with an understanding of:

  • The R programming language, R Notebooks, and some reproducible research practices.
  • Processing bulk and single-cell RNA-seq data from raw all the way to downstream analyses.
  • Downstream analyses methods like differential expression analyses, hierarchical clustering, and preparing publication-ready plots.

“I think anyone who is working on or near single-cell data should take this course. I am so much more confident in what I understand about single-cell analyses compared to where I was at the beginning. 10/10 recommend.”

Jessica Elswood, Postdoctoral Associate, Baylor College of Medicine
- Jessica Elswood, Postdoctoral Associate, Baylor College of Medicine


Make a donation to support the Data Lab’s mission of putting knowledge and resources in the hands of pediatric cancer experts poised for the next big discovery. 

With your help, we can

Fund innovative models to scale training workshops.

Offer our expertise and provide consultation on projects that will change the future for children fighting cancer.

Train at least 200 childhood cancer researchers over the next four years.



March 28, 2023

Data Lab Single-Cell RNA-Seq Workshop, Virtual, May 15-19, 2023

We are excited to announce that our next virtual workshop, Introduction to Single-cell RNA-Seq, will run from May 15-19, 2023! In this workshop, Data Lab staff will introduce researchers studying pediatric cancer to the R programming language, the Tidyverse R packages for data science, single-cell RNA-seq data analysis, and annotating cell types.



March 14, 2023

Creating an open source workflow to uniformly process data for the Single-cell Pediatric Cancer Atlas portal

Last year, the Data Lab launched the Single-cell Pediatric Cancer Atlas (ScPCA) Portal, which today holds uniformly processed single-cell gene expression data obtained from 8 separate labs, over 480 samples, and representing 38 cancer types. The portal is still growing as we continue to receive and process raw data from ScPCA investigators! All uniformly processed data is made available for download on the ScPCA Portal, giving researchers easy access to a growing database of summarized gene expression data and metadata to utilize for their own research. But how exactly did we make sure that all of the data was uniformly processed? And how are we able to ensure uniform processing for incoming samples as the portal continues to grow?



February 27, 2023

Visit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation at AACR 2023!

Are you attending the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in Orlando, FL this year? Visit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) at booth 369 in the exhibit hall from April 16-19! You'll find information about ALSF's grants program, the Childhood Cancer Data Lab and more. The Data Lab will also be holding office hours during select time slots.