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International Common Disease Alliance (ICDA) is a scientific forum comprising international stakeholders across academia, medicine, biopharma, tech companies, and funders, spanning the breadth of relevant scientific disciplines. ICDA aims to include and serve the diverse range of the human population.

About Us

 Our Goals

The International Common Disease Alliance (ICDA) will serve as a ​scientific forum bringing together international stakeholders across academia, medicine, biopharma companies, tech companies, and biomedical funders to:

  • define current barriers to progress in tackling the M2M2M challenge, ​including scientific, technological, policy, computational and organizational obstacles;
  • identify needs and opportunities for new projects to overcome these barriers in the spirit of past and present examples of public efforts and public-private projects (such as the SNP consortium, the HapMap projects, the 1000 genomes projects, the FinnGen Project, the UK Biobank, the All of Us Project, the Open Targets Initiative, and many more).
  • organize working groups to propose solutions and to drive progress​, including key knowledge, datasets, experimental technologies, computational platforms, and frameworks for data sharing and data harmonization;
  • organize scientific meetings to bring together the community​ on an ongoing basis to share results, assess progress, and update plans about the genetics of common disease;
  • coordinate with funders​ to ensure the work defining the barriers and proposing solutions in the white papers is of maximal utility;
  • help to facilitate international collaborations where appropriate; and
  • undertake public communication and engagement​ on issues related to common disease genetics.

Governing Principles


  1. ICDA focuses on impactful science that improves human health globally by unlocking the biological basis of common diseases grounded in genomic investigation.
  2. ICDA is an international organization that prioritizes equity, diversity, and inclusion for the conduct of research in order to best understand, prevent and treat common disease. 
  3. ICDA enables and implements scientific projects that are affordable, impactful, reproducible, and held to the highest scientific standards.
  4. ICDA believes in proactive, rapid, equitable and responsible sharing of data, methods and resources to accelerate progress across the entire scientific community.
  5. ICDA fosters collaborations that are equitable and transparent while retaining researchers’ autonomy.
  6. ICDA facilitates community building and communication that removes silos, improves accessibility globally, and develops the next generation of international scientists. 
  7. ICDA will develop and evolve scientific recommendations and identify priority areas to realize the benefits of genomic research in human health and disease.

Our Work

ICDA will act as a forum to develop ideas and plans to accelerate progress in common disease genetics discovery and translation. Much of this work will be undertaken in Working Groups, which will:

  • define and prioritize key needs and opportunities — both in the short-term through assembly and analysis of existing data, and in the long-term by mapping out the major experimental and infrastructure activities needed to leverage these activities at scale.
  • undertake pilot projects designed to address key hurdles and develop proposals for implementing necessary infrastructure.
  • translate scientific needs into technical and policy requirements, reconcile those requirements with existing community efforts, and facilitate implementation of infrastructure within and across organizations to meet those requirements.

In July 2020, the ICDA released its Recommendations and White Paper proposing concrete recommendations intended for researchers and funders about how to propel progress toward tackling the Maps to Mechanisms to Medicine Challenge. The framework consists of 23 recommendations across eight key directions: flagship diseases, maps, mechanisms, medicine, data, policy, global equity, and investigator-initiated innovation.


ICDA Framework

Our Ethos & Spirit

ICDA is committed to openness: Membership is open to everyone.

ICDA is committed to diversity and inclusion. It aims to represent diversity across nations, populations, ancestries, and genders, as well as across stakeholders and scientific disciplines.

ICDA is built on trust. This requires transparency and openness in setting directions and making decisions, including seeking feedback from ICDA members with thoughtfulness and consistency.

ICDA aims to coordinate with the many highly functional human genetics activities already underway.

ICDA works closely with national and philanthropic funders, biopharma and tech companies, and scientific journals.