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Linking traditional medicine to HCLS KB

(Proposed by Huajun Chen, Kei Cheung, Matthias Samwald)

The term traditional medicine (Indigenous medicine or folk medicine) describes medical knowledge systems, which developed over centuries within various societies before the era of modern medicine. A typical example is TCM ( Traditional Chinese Medicine) which is an ancient medical system that accounts for around 40% of all health care delivered in China.

This project is aimed at exploring the potential value of combining traditional medicine and modern medicine synergistically at the data level. The first task is going to be emphasized on integrating herbal data resources through current TCM databases into the HCLS KB, in purpose of mining enthnopharmacological knowledge to discover new pharmacological lead compounds.

With its extensive knowledge over herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, etc., we believe traditional medicine can serve as a valuable knowledge base that may complement modern approaches to drug discovery and clinical treatment. For example, the drug Huperzine for Alzheimer's Disease was derived from a Chinese botanical herb firmoss Huperzia serrata. In another example, TCM medicine has been extensively utilized in the treatment of Wilson disease, in combination with western medical approaches.

The key tasks include:

  • Identify key traditional medicine data resources and develop RDF/OWL-based representation model that matches with HCLS KB model.
  • Develop/adopt use cases and best practices to illustrate the value of combining eastern and western medicine synergistically.
  • Develop methods and tools in support of mining enthnopharmacological knowledge to discover new pharmacological lead compounds.
  • Explore issues relevant to cross-languages ontology mapping and cross-cultures information retrieval.