DC-THERA Knowledge Portal / Directorysoftware
In the DC-THERA effort to create new dendritic cell-based therapies, a wide range of information arising from genomics, proteomics, molecular cell biology and pre-clinical models is gathered and applied to the conduction of clinical trials. The DC-THERA Directory is intended to collect and semantically organize this data and to serve as a tool for collaboration among researchers and as a reference point for the information contained. As such it is a directory that provides summarized information and relations between resources and people involved.
In particular, we have defined a data model that mixes aspect of Object Oriented design and RDF-like features (RDF is the language at the basis of the Semantic Web). We have used this data-model to develop the DC-THERA Directory, a web application based on the Symfony web framework and Doctrine, an object-relational mapping (ORM).
As for the content of the directory, it has initially been populated it with information drawn from DC-THERA annual reports.
The semantic organization of the directory is based on fragments of standard ontologies, in particular OBI (Ontology for Biomedical Investigation) and terminologies developed within DC-ATLAS.
The first release of the DC-THERA directory was based on this information and ontologies, and provided the skeleton of the application, as well as a set of basic functionalities (semantic links among entities, lexical variations and generalization in searches).
Following this release, we have assembled a panel of reviewers, we have authored a document describing current functionalities and aims of the project, and we have asked for feedback on the current release as a well as a ranking, by relevance, of future functionalities to be implemented.
We will continue the development of functionalities of the DC-THERA Directory, following suggestions from reviewers and the user-base, and fostering the integration with other DC-THERA resources.