Integrative Biomedical Informatics

Mission & Research lines

The huge wealth of biomedical information that is currently available is underused because of the difficulties in seeking, integrating and analyzing the relevant information. There is also a great difficulty for the identification and use of clinically actionable information.  

The main goal of this group, led by Laura I. Furlong and Ferran Sanz, is to develop computational approaches that enables a better understanding of disease mechanisms and the mode of action of drugs. We approach this challenge from different perspectives, including: 

  • systems medicine, including data mining and network modelling approaches, to identify disease patterns from scientific evidence and Real World Data with a particular focus in the study of comorbidities. 
  • systems toxicology approaches to propose molecular mechanisms underlying the toxicity of drugs. 
  • text mining to identify relevant information from textual data, including scientific publications, clinical records and social media. 
  • knowledge management resources in the areas of disease genomics and pharmaceutical R&D.

The group is currently coordinating a large scale scientific initiative, the IMI project eTRANSAFE: Enhancing Translational Safety Assessment through Integrative Knowledge Management, which aims to develop an advanced data integration infrastructure together with innovative computational methods to improve the security in drug development process.

The group is also partner in other EU-funded projects, like the ongoing IMI projects:

  • EHDEN: The European Health Data and Evidence Network.
  • FAIRplusaiming to improve data management and data governance in European health research.
  • TransQSTTranslational Quantitative Systems Toxicology, aims to develop novel computational approaches using the best available data from the public and private domains to address the problems of drug safety.

And the ongoing H2020 projects:

  • RISK-HUNT3R, RISK assessment of chemicals integrating HUman centric Next generation Testing strategies promoting the 3Rs.
  • Disc4All, an european innovative training networks (ITN) which aims to train young researchers in the tools available to analyze genomic data (DisGeNET) and comorbidities (comoRbidity).
  • EU-ToxRisk, aiming to achieve a paradigm shift in toxicology towards a more efficient and animal-free chemical safety assessment.

Other examples of recent european projects participated or coordinated by the IBI group are iPiEEMIFMedBioinformatics, ELIXIR-EXCELERATE, eTOXOpenPHACTSINBIOMEDvision, VPH NOE, EU-ADR, @neurIST and CancerGRID.

In February 2020 some members of the group created the spin off  MedBioinformatics Solutions, which aims to exploit biomedical data to support drug discovery pipelines and to enhance biomedical research.

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