Open PHACTS – a story through publications

OP_logo_300dpiI was proud to be part of the Open PHACTS project for three years. The project built a platform for drug discovery that integrates data over multiple different kinds of chemistry and biological data currently connecting information about compounds, targets, pathways, diseases and tis
sues.. The platform is still going strong and is now supported by a foundation that is supported by its users from companies such as GSK, Roche, Janssen and Lilly. The foundation is also involved in several projects such as Big Data for Europe. The project was large and produced many outputs including numerous publications. I wanted to tell a brief story of Open PHACTS by just categorizing the publications. This will hopefully help people navigate the results of the project. Note, I removed the authors for readability but click through to find all the great people who did this work.

Vision

Speaks for itself…

Use cases

The information needs of drug discovery scientists. 83 use cases gathered and analyzed. 20 prioritized use case questions as the result.

Platform design and construction

Semantic technologies are great for integration – How do we get them to be fast and easy for developers? Leverage APIs

Applying the platform to do drug discovery

Can the platform do what it says it can do? Yep. 16/20 use case questions could be answered and some ones we didn’t think of. Plus, some cool end-user applications (e.g. The Open PHACTS Explorer and Chembionavigator )

Interesting computer science

Along the way we addressed some computer science challenges like: How do we scale up querying over RDF? How do we deal with the multiplicity of mappings? How do we mix commercial, private and public data?

Supporting Better Data

The project supported data providers in creating and updating RDF versions of their datasets.

Supporting Interoperability

Many members of the project worked within a number of communities to develop specifications that help for dataset description (especially in terms of provenance) and interchange.

Overall, the Open PHACTS project not only delivered a data integration platform for drug discovery but also helped  through the construction of more interoperable datasets and lessons about how to construct such platforms. I look forward to seeing what happens as the platform continues to be developed but maybe more importantly the impact of the results of the project as they diffuse.

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