Accelerating cancer systems biology research through Semantic Web technology

Zhihui Wang, Jonathan Sagotsky, Thomas Taylor, Patrick Shironoshita, Thomas S. Deisboeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cancer systems biology is an interdisciplinary, rapidly expanding research field in which collaborations are a critical means to advance the field. Yet the prevalent database technologies often isolate data rather than making it easily accessible. The Semantic Web has the potential to help facilitate web-based collaborative cancer research by presenting data in a manner that is self-descriptive, human and machine readable, and easily sharable. We have created a semantically linked online Digital Model Repository (DMR) for storing, managing, executing, annotating, and sharing computational cancer models. Within the DMR, distributed, multidisciplinary, and inter-organizational teams can collaborate on projects, without forfeiting intellectual property. This is achieved by the introduction of a new stakeholder to the collaboration workflow, the institutional licensing officer, part of the Technology Transfer Office. Furthermore, the DMR has achieved silver level compatibility with the National Cancer Institute's caBIG, so users can interact with the DMR not only through a web browser but also through a semantically annotated and secure web service. We also discuss the technology behind the DMR leveraging the Semantic Web, ontologies, and grid computing to provide secure inter-institutional collaboration on cancer modeling projects, online grid-based execution of shared models, and the collaboration workflow protecting researchers' intellectual property.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-151
Number of pages17
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Systems Biology and Medicine
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)

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