Ontology Driven Analysis and Profiling of High Throughput Data ArrayExpress

Helen Parkinson and James Malone, European Bioinformatics Institute

The primary aims of this project are as follows:
1.    To better enable biological data producers to utilise ontologies such as those hosted at NCBO BioPortal within their applications via rapid application ontology development and biologist friendly tooling.
2.    To perform meta-analysis across biological data such as those hosted at EBI, e.g. ArrayExpress <http://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress>, based on ontology annotations and the relationships encapsulated within those ontologies. Particular areas of interest include diabetes data and mouse knockout data.
3.    To improve current methods for annotation of biological data utilising approaches from NCBO technology such as Annotator service.
4.    To enable sharing of ontology annotated data through the likes of the NCBO resource index.
5.    To engage with the wider community, collecting use cases of interest and to disseminate these technologies.

This project will initially focus on solutions for curating data using ontologies based on simple to use interfaces which enable the rapid deployment of application ontologies alongside the curated data. Such approaches have proven very useful in resources such as the Gene Expression Atlas http://www.ebi.ac.uk/gxa in which ontologies are used to perform querying, data integration across experiments and visualization. However, understanding complex ontologies can represent a barrier to their use and similarly to contributing to their development. The solutions we will work towards will help to enable the wider community, allowing non-ontologists to contribute to their development and to deploy ontology technology within their applications.