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.



May 18, 2023

Don't Make Me Read: Tips for Writing Effective Documentation

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May 15, 2023

The Single-cell Pediatric Cancer Atlas (ScPCA) Portal is now accepting dataset submissions!

In 2019, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) established the Single-cell Pediatric Cancer Atlas (ScPCA) through awards for data generation and to create an atlas of single-cell gene expression profiles of pediatric cancers of different types and from different organ sites. The Data Lab launched the ScPCA Portal in 2022 to make uniformly processed, summarized single-cell and single-nuclei RNA-seq data and de-identified metadata available for download. The ScPCA Portal also supports other data modalities, such as bulk RNA-seq, CITE-seq, and spatial transcriptomics. The ScPCA Portal currently hosts data for over 500 pediatric tumor and patient-derived xenograft samples from more than 50 cancer types, and continues to grow. The Data Lab is seeking contributions to the ScPCA Portal from researchers with existing single-cell datasets.



May 4, 2023

Full: Data Lab Single-Cell RNA-Seq Workshop, Philadelphia area, June 13-15, 2023

We are excited to announce that our next workshop, Introduction to Single-cell RNA-Seq, will take place in-person from June 13-15, 2023! 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, annotating cell types, and more. The 3-day course will take place from 9am-5pm Eastern time in Bala Cynwyd, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. Travel reimbursement (up to a certain amount) is available for qualifying participants.