Invited talk: From ontologies to translational medicine

by Dr. Robert Hoehndorf, University of Cambridge

Date: Thu, June 6 2013, 3pm

Location: Institut für Informatik, Albert-Einstein-Str. 22, Raum 001

Abstract Recent technological advances have led to the generation of large
amounts of data and knowledge in all areas of biology.  The great
challenge is to synthesize this information into a coherent
understanding of whole organisms and their interactions with the
environment, and to rapidly translate the insights into clinical
applications that have a positive impact on human health. Biomedical
ontologies are an approach to organizing the wealth of information in
biology. The combination of ontologies now enables large-scale
integrative analyses that go beyond traditional domain boundaries
between species, levels of granularity and areas of application. In my
talk, I will demonstrate how ontologies enable novel integrative and
translational biomedical analyses on two use cases: the identification
of candidate genes for orphan diseases based on phenotype data from
animal models, and the identification of drug targets based on analyzing
the information of multiple pharmacogenomics databases.  I will
demonstrate the steps involved, from the ontology-based analysis of the
domain over knowledge representation and reasoning to the discovery and
evaluation of biomedical results.  The approach that I demonstrate is
generalizable and applicable to all areas of biology: it constitutes a
general approach towards integrative biomedical analyses that are
enabled through combining biomedical ontologies.  I will conclude my
talk by outlining our ongoing research towards the development of a
system that can predict deep phenotypes from molecular information.


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