From Biological Data to Clinical Applications: Positioning a digital infrastructure for the future of biomedicine.

Fri, 2012-11-09 13:30 - 14:30
Bioscience Research Building Room 2.168

In the quest to translate the results of life science research into effective clinical applications, many are now turning their attention to and also trying to make sense of the large and rapidly growing amount of biological and biomedical data. Indeed, getting a grip on and keeping on top of the daily flood of new information, whether it be the latest in clinical reviews, scientific reports, or raw data is an ever-present and widely-recognized challenge. The limited access to structured, integrated and citable data limits our ability to exploit a rich source of scientific knowledge for clinical and translational research. While keeping the dual goals of increasing our understanding of how living systems respond to chemical agents and translating our combined knowledge into clinical applications, I will discuss our efforts to leverage Semantic Web technologies to facilitate the formulation, publication, integration, and discovery of biological facts, expert knowledge and services of value to pharmaceutical and clinical research, and more recently, with applications for the patient-centric delivery of health care.

Dr. Michel Dumontier is an Associate Professor of Bioinformatics in the Department of Biology, the Institute of Biochemistry and School of Computer Science at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His research aims to develop semantics-powered computational methods to increase our understanding of how living systems respond to chemical agents. At the core of the research program is the development and use of Semantic Web technologies to formally represent and reason about data and services so as (1) to facilitate the publishing, sharing and discovery of scientific knowledge produced by individuals and small collectives, (2) to enable the formulation and evaluation scientific hypotheses using our collective tools and knowledge and (3) to create and make available computational methods to investigate the structure, function and behaviour of living systems. Dr. Dumontier is the Scientific Director for the open-source Bio2RDF linked data for life sciences project and currently serves as a chair for the World Wide Web Consortium Semantic Web in Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group (W3C HCLSIG). Dr. Dumontier is as an editor for the open-review Semantic Web Journal, co-chairs the ISMB-affiliated Bio-Ontologies Special Interest Group, and is a co-chair for the 2013 Semantic Trilogy consisting of the International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO), the Canadian Semantic Web Working Symposium (CSWWS) and Data Integration in the Life Sciences (DILS).

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