Areas and projects

Professor Andy Brass adds a strong bioinformatics influence to the group and is a renowned figure for his work in the field of Bioinformatics and in the Bioinformatics department at the University.

Prof Robert Stevens, a Professor in the department, adds yet more bioinformatics experience together with plenty of experience in Semantic Web technologies, e-Science and Ontologies.

Emeritus Professor, Alan Rector's original and still primary research focus is developing useful and usable clinical systems. His research has branched out to include clinical terminologies, biomedical ontologies and Semantic Web Technologies. He has 25 years' experience of leading projects on clinical systems, medical terminology including the PEN&PAD and GALEN project. He now also leads the CO-ODE project developing the Protege-OWL ontology development environment in collaboration with Stanford University. 

The result is a group with the knowledge to drive the conception and development of new methods and systems for the growing desire to be able to integrate knowledge all the way from the roots of bio-molecular research to their eventual clinical application. In order to do this the group as a whole has a strong bioinformatics and clinical background, along with considerable experience with Ontology development and Semantic Web technologies.

Our research covers these areas:
  • Clinical information systems
  • Clinical knowledge management
  • Medical informatics
  • Knowledge driven architectures
  • Biomedical terminologies and ontologies
  • Knowledge representation and description logics
  • Semantic Web and OWL
  • Bioinformatics
  • Clinical text mining

Projects and other research outputs

  • Active projects

    • miniMECH: a family of checklists for scoring methods reporting quality.
    • What if…: Answering “What if…” questions for ontology authoring.
    • Integration of dynamic documentation knowledge services into Siemens framework.
    • Open PHACTS: Open integrated and sustainable chemistry, biology and pharmacology knowledge resource for drug discovery
    • myGrid: A platform for e-biology
    • Bio-renewable Formulation Information and Knowledge Management System
    • N8 BioHub Information and Knowledge Management System
    • Systems Biology to Identify Molecular Targets for Vascular Disease Treatment
    • The Lazarus Project: Resurrecting data and knowledge from life science articles by crowd-sourcing

    Past projects

    • Software Ontology Project (SWOP): Resource for describing software tools, their types, tasks, versions, provenance and data associated.
    • ONDEX: From Data to Knowledge – the ONDEX System for integrating Life Sciences data sources
    • BioCatalogue: Providing a curated catalogue of Life Science Web Services
    • Semantic Web Authoring Tool (SWAT): Controlled natural language input for knowledge formation on the Semantic Web.
    • Data integration and querying for fresh water biologists.
    • RInO: Reasoning infrastructure for ontologies and instances.
    • myExperiment: A virtual research environment for collaboration.
    • CLEF: Clinical e-science framework to enable access to patient information in support of clinical care and biomedical research.
    • i-SPIDER: A pilot grid for integrative proteomics.
    • ComparaGRID: Integrating genomic data across species boundaries.
    • CO-ODE / HyOntUse: Materials and tools to support ontology authoring.
    • Gene Ontology Next Generation (GONG)Migration support for biological ontologies.
    • Sealife: Semantic Grid browser for the Life Science.
    • e-LicoA virtual laboratory for interdisciplinary collaborative research in data mining and data-intensive sciences.
  • Collaboration within our School, University and beyond

  • Within our School

    The Bio-Health Informatics Group is located in the School of Computer Science, providing a whole host of opportunities for collaboration with world class researchers leading the way in fields such as E-Science, Description Logics and the Semantic Web.

    BHIG shares close ties with the Information Management Group (IMG). IMG is not a biology-specific group, but contains several projects with goals in biology and bioinformatics, most notably the myGrid project.

  • Within the University of Manchester

    Our group links the School of Computer Science and the Faculty of Life Sciences, particularly BioinformaticsProfessor Andy Brass has involvement in both departments and leads a team with a diverse goals using Computer Science to aid Bioinformatics challenges. Some of these include development of new database systems for yeast genome analysis, development of microarray analysis tools, use of description logics to build databases of biological concepts, and development of integrated information management systems for bioinformatics.

    The group has close links with the Faculty of Medicine and Human Sciences, particularly the Division of Imaging Sciences and Biomedical Engineering (ISBE).

  • Across the world

    The group participates in the Northwest Institute of BioHealth Informatics (NIBHI) which stretches across Northwest England with members at the Universities of Liverpool, Salford and Lancaster, and CCLRC Daresbury.

    Our group is present on the international stage. The CO-ODE project involves strong collaboration with the Protege Ontology Editor development team from Stanford University, supporting their development of the popular Protege-OWL plugin and encouraging its use through additional plugins, tutorial material, workshops and contact with the community. The CO-ODE project was largely responisble of the development of the latest Protege editor, Protege 4, that now supports the latest OWL 2 specification. The Sealife Project was also a highly succesful EU funded project that developed a suite of Semantic Grid browsers for the life sciences, which were applied to the study of infectious diseases. BHIG was involved through the leadership of Robert Stevens. Robert Stevens lead another EU project called e-lico, where semantic technologies were used to build a virtual laboratory for interdisciplinary collaborative research in data mining and data-intensive sciences.

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