Immunology Ontologies and Their Applications in Processing Clinical Data

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The National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) in collaboration with the Protein Ontology (PRO) and the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) will host a three-day dissemination workshop in Buffalo, NY on June 11-13, 2012.

Day 1 will provide a survey of current ontology-based research in immunology and infectious disease with a view to future coordination among ontology developers and users in this field.
Day 2 will be focused on flow cytometry.
Day 3 will include a session devoted to the use of ontologies to assist clinicians working with infectious disease data, followed by a session on the Ontology for General Medical Science.


Provisional goals of the meeting are:

To identify and coordinate activities on-going in immunology ontology and related fields, with special attention to the use of ontologies to support clinical data analysis in flow cytometry and other fields.


This meeting is free for registered participants. Space is limited and those interested in participating should contact Barry Smith as soon as possible.

Draft Schedule

Day 1: Monday, June 11, 2012: 9:00am-5:00pm

An Overview of Ontologies to Support Research in Immunology and Infectious Disease

Morning: The Gene Ontology, Reactome, The Immunology Ontology, The Immune Epitope Ontology and the Allergy Ontology

Barry Smith (University at Buffalo)
Bio-Ontologies for Immunology Research: An Introduction
Alexander Diehl (University at Buffalo)
The Gene Ontology and Immune System Processes
Anna Maria Masci (Duke University)
The Immunology Ontology (with special focus on the liver)
Peter d'Eustacho (New York University)
Immune Pathway Representations in Reactome
Bjoern Peters (University of California at San Diego)
Representation of immunology experiments using OBI
Representing epitope mapping experiments for the Immune Epitope Database (IEDB)
Alexander C. Yu (University at Buffalo)
The Allergy Ontology
Lunchtime talk: Atul Butte (Stanford): Discovery of a novel inflammatory receptor and related drug for type 2 diabetes from integration of publicly-available microarray data

Afternoon: The Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) and Its Extensions

Lindsay Cowell (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)
An Introduction to the Infectious Disease Ontology
Update on IDO-Core; simplified definitions; new approach to MIREOTing; new terms/definitions/relations; a template for creating an IDO Extension
Albert Goldfain (Blue Highway)
Staph Aureus (Sa) IDO
Christos (Kitsos) Louis (IMBB-FORTH, Crete)
IDO Mal (Malaria Ontology)
IDO Flu (Influenza Ontology)
Yu Lin (University of Michigan)
IDO Bru (Brucellosis Ontology)

Day 2: Tuesday, June 12, 2012: 9:00am-5:00pm

Ontologies and Flow Cytometry Informatics

Background Increasingly, flow cytometry is being employed in clinical laboratories for the diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of disease. The advent of highly multidimensional flow cytometry and automated gating algorithms for the analysis of flow cytometry data, coupled with the rise of personalized medicine, are poised to expand greatly the need for a reliable, structured framework for the representation of the types of cells present in human blood and tissues. We are currently enhancing the representation of hematopoietic and other cell types in the Cell Ontology (CL) to allow for the logical definition of cell types based on cellular attributes, and in doing so we rely on relations to terms of the Protein Ontology (PRO) as a key component of these definitions. The goal of today's session is explore how the use of clinical flow cytometry data can serve as a driver of ontology development in both the PRO and the CL by assessing current standard clinical assays and recent approaches based on automated gating of multidimensional flow cytometry.
Examples of questions to be addressed include:
Which protein isoforms and post-translationally modified forms identified by flow cytometry typing reagents need to be represented in the PRO to enable cell types defined in their terms to be represented in the CL?
How can use of the PRO and CL ontologies will promote standardization in interpretation and integration of clinical flow cytometry data?

Morning: Flow cytometry typing of normal and malignant cell types

Alexander Diehl (Buffalo)
An Introduction to Flow Cytometry Ontology
Cathy Wu (Delaware), Darren Natale (Georgetown) and Alexander Diehl (Buffalo)
The Protein Ontology and Cell Type Definitions
Alexander Diehl (Buffalo)
Overview of Hematopoietic Cell Types in the Cell Ontology
An Ontological Treatment of Protein Marker Expression on Multiple Myeloma Subtypes
Overview of Euroflow Leukemia Typing Panels
Clinical Flow Cytometry in HIV
Representation of cells used in experiments such as: PBMCs, splenocytes, adherent cells
Discussion of the ontological treatment of typing panels.

Afternoon: Automated gating of Flow Cytometry results and linking to the Cell Ontology

Ryan Brinkman (Vancouver)
1. Overview of the representation of flow cytometry assays in OBI
2. Overview of flowMeans and flowCAP
3. Connecting results from automated FCM analysis systems with the Cell Ontology
Cliburn Chan (Duke)
Flow Cytometry Analysis System
Nikesh Kotecha (Cytobank)
Incorporating annotations into the analysis workflow - examples using Cytobank and NCBO's BioPortal
Topics to be discussed will include
Methods to automatically link flow cytometry results to cell type identification.
How to motivate the annotation of data using the discussed ontologies (the role of interfaces)

Day 3: Wednesday, June 13, 2012:9:00am-6:00pm

The Role of Ontologies in Clinical Medicine

9am-noon: Next Steps in Protein Ontology Flow Cytometry Driving Biological Project


noon-3pm SESSION OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: Practical Applications of Ontologies in Clinical Research (includes lunch)

Albert Goldfain (Blue Highway / Syracuse)
Creating Personalized Infectious Disease Ontologies
Alan Ruttenberg (Buffalo)
The Protein Ontology and the treatment of protein isoforms, mutations, and aggregates of relevance to Alzheimer's Disease
The HIV Ontology
Werner Ceusters (Buffalo)
Assessment instruments and biomedical reality: examples in the pain domain

3pm-6pm: Working Session on the Ontology for General Medical Science (OGMS)

Moderator: Albert Goldfain (Blue Highway / Syracuse)
Topics to be treated will include:
An update on OGMS
Relations in OGMS
Close: 6:00pm

Relevant ontology efforts

GO-IP Gene Ontology -- Immunological Process (Alex Diehl)
CL Cell ontology immune branches (e.g. for dendritic cells)
PRO Protein Ontology
IO Immunology Ontology (Lindsay Cowell and Alex Diehl)
IEO Immune Epitope Ontology (Bjoern Peters)
MHC Major Histocompatibility Complex Ontology (Bjoern Peters)
OGMS Ontology for General Medical Science (Albert Goldfain)
IDO Infectious Disease Ontology (Lindsay Cowell)
Vaccine Ontology (Oliver He)
AO Allergy Ontology (Alex C. Yu)
ND Neurological Disease Ontology (Alex Diehl)

Participants will include

Ryan Brinkman (University of British Columbia, June 11-12)
Atul Butte (Stanford University)
Werner Ceusters (University at Buffalo)
Cliburn Chan (Duke University, June 11-12)
Quan Chen (NIH/NIAID)
Lindsay Cowell (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)
Paresh Dandona (Diabetes and Endocrinology Center of Western New York / University at Buffalo)
Peter d'Eustachio (New York University)
Alex Diehl (University at Buffalo)
Chester Fox (University at Buffalo)
Albert Goldfain (University at Buffalo, Syracuse University and Blue Highway, Inc.)
Oliver He (University of Michigan)
Leonard Jacuzzo (University at Buffalo)
Christos (Kitsos) Louis (IMBB-FORTH, Crete)
Nikesh Kotecha (Cytobank)
Yu Lin (University of Michigan)
Anna Maria Masci (Duke University)
Darren Natale (Georgetown University)
Dave Parrish (Digital Infuzion)
Bjoern Peters, (La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology)
Alan Ruttenberg (University at Buffalo)
Stanley A. Schwartz (University at Buffalo)
Barry Smith (University at Buffalo)
Cathy Wu (University of Delaware, Georgetown University)
Alex C. Yu (University at Buffalo)