Immunology Database

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Immunology Database

Postby dignan » Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:05 am

Interesting effort from an unexpected source...

Northrop Grumman, UT Southwestern Build Biodefense Resources

December 21, 2005 - Fighting bioterrorism and infectious disease is not part of the usual IT job description. But Northrop Grumman’s IT sector routinely moves beyond the usual, having garnered two multimillion-dollar bioinformatics development contracts since 2004.

ImmPort, Immunology Database and Analysis Portal, is the result of a six-year, $29.6 million contract awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in September 2004 and funded through the Bioinformatics Integration Support Contract.

“We’re in the second year of the two-year base,” says Kevin Biersack, project director for Herndon, Va.-based Northrop Grumman IT. ImmPort version 1.0 was deployed on October 31, 2005, with version 2.0 due in September 2006.

ImmPort, which focuses on research related to immune-system diseases, is a private resource open only to investigators funded by NIAID’s Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation.

Richard H. Scheuermann from the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center at Dallas is the principal investigator. Northrop Grumman also works with subcontractors including KEVRIC Company, Unicorn Solutions, and Biomind LLC.

ImmPort’s goals, says Scheuermann, are to integrate data from clinical trials, animal models of immune disease, and basic immunology research; to support advanced analytical approaches for systems-level data mining to allow researchers to better identify alterations in genes that lead to diseases such as type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis; and to identify proteins involved in shaping immune responses to vaccination and infection.

ImmPort uses for visualization a genomic browser adopted from the University of Pennsylvania and an ontology browser coupled with an ontology editor, Stanford University’s Protégé tool. ... s-northrup
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