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Putting resources and knowledge in the hands of pediatric cancer experts poised for the next big discovery.

Our Mission

Our 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.

The Data Lab upholds the values of creating kind and supportive environments for childhood cancer research and democratizing access to tools and data in all settings.

Our Story

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. A massive amount of childhood cancer data exists, but collecting, sharing, and utilizing it can be a challenge. Far too often, data is not available in a ready-to-use format or found in easily accessible locations, making it difficult for researchers to carry out analyses and answer their scientific questions. 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.

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More about Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Logo

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of 4-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who was fighting cancer and wanted to raise money to find cures for all children with cancer. By the time Alex passed away at the age of 8, she had raised $1 million. Since then, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a worldwide fundraising movement and the largest independent childhood cancer charity in the U.S. ALSF is a leader in funding pediatric research projects across the globe and providing programs to families affected by childhood cancer. For more information, visit

Our Team

Jaclyn Taroni, PhD (Director)

Jaclyn Taroni, PhD (Director)

Jaclyn joined the Data Lab in 2018 as the team's first full-time scientist and assumed the Director role in 2021. In her time with the Data Lab, Jaclyn established our training workshop program, served as the scientific lead for, and was one of the main organizers of the Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas project.

Jaclyn received her PhD from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and postdoctoral training at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where her research interests included leveraging large, heterogeneous collections of biomedical data to study rare diseases.

David S Mejia (Engineering Manager)

David S Mejia (Engineering Manager)

David has been the Engineering Manager for the Data Lab since the start of 2022 after joining as a Full Stack Developer in 2019. He has spent most of that time solving various engineering challenges with, as well as building the web interfaces for the ScPCA Portal, and the Childhood Cancer Research Resources (CCRR) Portal.

Prior to joining the Data Lab, David was a freelance web developer specializing in interactive tools for user generated content, novel digital experiences, and e-commerce stores.

Deepa Prasad (UX Designer)

Deepa Prasad (UX Designer)

Since joining the Data Lab in 2017, Deepa has led studies to gain a deeper understanding of behaviors, processes, attitudes and barriers of pediatric cancer researchers and helped translate those insights into tools developed by the Data Lab. She is responsible for designing the interfaces for, the ScPCA Portal, and the Childhood Cancer Research Resources (CCRR) Portal.

Deepa has a background in software engineering and design and received a Master's in Human-Computer Interaction from Indiana University-Indianapolis, where she focused on creating interactive experiences for museums and user-centered approaches for data analysis in the context of fluid research.

Jen O’Malley (Scientific Community Manager)

Jen joined the Data Lab team as the Scientific Community Manager in 2021. She manages communications, administers programs and services, identifies opportunities to maximize reach, and maintains a supportive community for pediatric cancer researchers.

Jen received her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Master of Arts in Public Relations and Communications from Hofstra University.

Joshua Shapiro, PhD (Data Scientist)

Joshua Shapiro, PhD (Data Scientist)

Josh joined the Data Lab in 2019. He has worked on updating and expanding the Data Lab's training workshops, performing analysis for the Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas project, and creating reusable analysis pipelines for the Single-cell Pediatric Cancer Atlas.

Before joining the Data Lab, Josh was an Assistant Professor at Bryn Mawr College, where he taught courses in evolutionary genetics and genomics, bioinformatics and biostatistics. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago, followed by postdoctoral training at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University.

Ally Hawkins, PhD (Data Scientist)

Ally Hawkins, PhD (Data Scientist)

Ally joined the Data Lab in 2021. Most of her time has been spent building and developing the analytical pipelines for the Single-cell Pediatric Cancer Atlas. Additionally, she works with external collaborators on single-cell RNA-sequencing projects, applying our in-house processes and reusable pipelines to help bring their research to the next level.

Before joining the Data Lab, Ally completed her PhD in Cancer Biology and Master's in Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan followed by post-doctoral training at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she focused on methods development and analysis of single-cell multi-omics technologies.

Stephanie J. Spielman, PhD (Data Scientist)

Stephanie J. Spielman, PhD (Data Scientist)

Stephanie joined the Data Lab in February 2022. Her work at the Data Lab involves writing and maintaining reusable workflows for single-cell analyses as well as developing and running training workshops. Previously, she was a lead contributor to the Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas project.

Before joining the Data Lab, Stephanie was an Assistant Professor in Biological Sciences at Rowan University, where she taught courses in evolution and data science for life scientists. She received her PhD in Integrative Biology, with a focus in computational molecular evolution, from UT Austin and her BS in Biology with Honors from Brown University.

Nozomi Ichihara (Front-end Engineer)

Nozomi joined the Data Lab in mid-March 2022 as a Front End Developer. Working with cross functional teams at the Data Lab, she enjoys collaborating with others as well as participating in open source projects - and ScPCA Portal.

Before joining the Data Lab, Nozomi worked on various projects including intranet web applications, Sass products, and branded websites. She has an educational background in Multimedia Arts & Design and has passion for both UX creation and UI development. As a UI developer, she loves working with UX/UI designers and being part of building human-centered applications.

Avrohom Gottlieb (Full Stack Engineer)

Avrohom joined the Data Lab in March 2024 as a Full Stack Developer. As a member of the engineering team, Avrohom has spent his time developing the ScPCA Portal and Avrohom loves the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of working at the Data Lab, and is proud of his role in building technical solutions to empower the pediatric cancer research community.

Prior to joining the Data Lab, Avrohom collaborated on a variety of software projects in the areas of e-commerce and B2B services. In addition to his work at the Data Lab, Avrohom is also pursuing a Master's Degree in Computer Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Former trainees at the Childhood Cancer Data Lab

Our Supporters

Recognizing organizations and individuals who provide support for the Childhood Cancer Data Lab.
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Founding Sponsor

The Hayman Foundation

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