The amount and complexity of biomedical data available for research and healthcare are assuming dramatic proportions as a consequence of advances in data acquisition techniques. Not only a vast amount and variety of data can be acquired about living organisms, but also the throughput and resolution (spatial, spectral, temporal, etc.) are ever growing. Moreover, a wealth of information about life style, disease history and clinical parameters is also available in hospital databases and (electronic) patient files. This radical increase of biological and clinical data creates completely new challenges and opportunities in life sciences and transforms life science research in an information science. A shift in the methodologies used for data analysis and management is required to address the increasing challenges, where information and communication technologies (ICT) play an essential role.
e-bioscience refers to scientific projects within the domain of biomedical sciences that are carried out in distributed collaborations using technologies from the informatics and ICT fields. e-bioscience objectives include the seamless adoption in biomedical research of (large data generating) research facilities such as measurement devices, of (very) large biological and medical data collections, of (large) compute power and data storage, and (remote) facilities for scientific visualization and data analysis. Sharing facilities and expertise is one of the essential and most challenging components of e-bioscience. Thus, in contrast to traditional collaborations, e-bioscience makes use of new information technologies in order to increase the efficiency of data (generating) facilities within existing collaborations, and at the same time safeguarding access to these facilities and to the associated scientific expertise. When combined with rigorous data modelling and standardization (e.g., by making use of agreed ontologies and data analysis protocols) e-bioscience will increase the quality and reproducibility of the research.
At the AMC we adopt advanced information technologies to enable and enhance biomedical research, participating in the on-going global research effort to develop what is coined "e-Science infrastructures" or "e-infrastructures" in Europe, or "cyberinfrastructures" in the USA. In particular, we collaborate with the Dutch e-Science Grid (BiGGrid project) and the Life Science Grid Community and participate in various projects: COMMIT, SCI-BUS and ER-Flow.
The e-Bioscience research group is led by Silvia Olabarriaga .
Mark Santcroos and Mahdi Jaghouri are workflow management experts funded by the ER-Flow and SCI-BUS projects.
Shayan Shahand is a PhD student in the COMMIT project.
Ammar Benabdelkader (information management) and Mostapha al Mourabit (web architect) work on the Neuroscience Gateway project funded by the HPCN Fund of the UvA and SCI-BUS.
Sytse van Geldermalsen is student of the Master program in Grid Computing of the UvA.