NCBO, PharmaIT, Pistoia, Biobanking and publishing opportunities

I recently returned home to the Netherlands after visiting NCBO for 7 months. It was inspiring to see such a well-coordinated group and a great opportunity to meet and work with the NCBO team as well as Protégé and others in Biomedical Informatics Research at Stanford. Special thanks to Mark Musen. I and my wife are very grateful that our respective Dutch employers (LUMC and UMC) supported and sponsored our visit (to NCBO and Genentech respectively).

Last week, I gave a presentation about the HCLS approach to linked data federation at the Pharmaceutical Technology IT Summit in London. Ian Harrow of Pfizer presented the Pistoia Alliance project “SESL”, which aims to apply text mining and a federation of triplestores to enhance sharing of precompetitive data. The HCLS BioRDF task force recently submitted a federated approach to microarray data to Workshop on the role of Semantic Web in Provenance Management (SWPM-2010) that should be directly applicable in the SESL project.

This week, I have been attending the “BBMRI – Biobanking for Science” Conference. We have discussed biobanking as an demo application for Semantic Web and attending this conference has convinced me that biobanking is the perfect storm for Semantic Web. Another interpretation could be that biobanking has similar requirements to translational medicine and shares the inherent value of data stewardship that seem intrinsically tied to data sharing.

Conference on Semantics in Healthcare and Life Sciences (CSHALS) is open for submissions and Semantic Web Applications for the Life Sciences (SWAT4LS) is open for submissions and I hear that the Journal of Biomedical Semantics could use a few more articles in its pipeline.

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