Public-Private Partnership to Facilitate Ontology Use and Application

Ontology sounds a lot like a medical specialty—but it’s not related to Oncology, Otolaryngology, or Ophthalmology—except that researchers organizing Big Data in Biomedicine into different ‘ontologies’ or categories could help expedite new drug targets and discoveries in these specialties, and others, in the future.

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is joining a partnership to combine advances in ontologies, templates, and other research tools to take digital biomedical research data to the next level.

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $2,088,678 U01 grant to be shared under a cooperative agreement between:

The award is part of a larger effort under the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program to support the development, improvement, and implementation of tools and approaches that increase the efficiency, and the effectiveness, of curation of digital biomedical research data. One goal is to make digital research objects findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR).

Titled “Unifying Templates, Ontologies, and Tools to Achieve Effective Annotation of Bioassay Protocols,” this four-year joint project is creating a “glue technology,” aptly named “OntoloBridge,” to bridge the gap between regular users of controlled scientific vocabularies, and the creators of the underlying ontologies. This OntoloBridge will be built upon, and simultaneously validated by, three existing technologies:

Like any good partnership, the three principal investigators and their teams each bring complementary areas of expertise. The Schürer group will develop, maintain, and expand the underlying ontologies, and build infrastructure to support submission and processing of new terms. The Musen group will use their metadata framework for defining templates, and enabling structured and consistent annotations. The Barry Bunin team at Collaborative Drug Discovery will create and maintain tools for annotating assays, and will coordinate economical annotation of increasing amounts of public and private data.




CDD Collaborative Drug Discovery 2/14/2018 “Public-Private Partnership to Facilitate Ontology Use and Application
CEDAR Center for Expanded Data Annotation and Retrieval 2/14/2018 “Public-Private Partnership to Facilitate Ontology Use and Application
UHealth News 2/16/2018 “UM Researcher Joins New NIH Partnership to Promote Organization of Big Data in Biomedicine
UHealth News 2/21/2018 “Public-Private Partnership to Facilitate Ontology Use and Application


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