The QIAGEN OmicSoft User Group Meeting wrapped up yesterday, September 20th, and we wanted to thank everyone who participated for making it such a great event.
To the many attendees and speakers: we can’t thank you enough for spending time with us in Cambridge, Mass.! For those who could not join us in person, below is a short summary about how OmicSoft’s content and software products are being used by pharma and biotech scientists to develop the next round of drug candidates and therapies. And in case you missed it, don’t forget to check out our day 1 highlights as well.
We were delighted to have Paul Jung, senior biology data scientist from AbbVie, give a presentation about how his group has utilized OmicSoft technology to build an ’omics data hub for his company. He laid out the challenge facing many IT teams in pharma and biotech: maximizing the value of disparate data sets, gathered with different platforms, and represented in diverse formats. His group is focused on enabling cross-platform analysis for microarray, proteomics, NGS, and chemical biology data. To start with, they addressed the need for centralized, secure storage; a controlled, common vocabulary; and flexible access control. They chose Array Studio in the cloud, developed a controlled vocabulary, and made it possible for AbbVie scientists to use custom annotations and to import external analysis files. Jung demonstrated some impressive applications of Array Studio, such as plotting compound potency versus ’omics data to power early discovery efforts. To date, he said this approach has been used to process more than 26,000 samples from AbbVie projects, and that his team has helped establish 14 internal Lands and seven internal clinical Lands data sets along the way.
QIAGEN’s Matt Newman offered a look at the custom curation services available for OmicSoft users. We have found that many customers would like additional content added to Lands for greater coverage of a certain disease or subject area, but they simply don’t have the internal resources to perform the strict and methodical curation necessary. It’s a tedious process — we can attest to that, since we do it every day! To help users get past this phase and into the more interesting science it facilitates, we can take on custom curation projects either for specific data sets or for a particular subject area. We’ll select and retrieve the most useful and relevant data, perform statistical modeling, extract metadata, establish fields, assign it to curators, edit the results, and then handle data merging and QC before publishing it to Lands. This way, users can have confidence that every bit of data they encounter in OmicSoft tools has been through the same rigorous curation, quality control, and review process for the best scientific results. Newman also noted that in 2018 we’ll be expanding these services to include analysis as well; this request has been frequently heard from customers at companies without lots of bioinformatics expertise.
Also, our own Nirav Amin presented several step-by-step case studies showing how to use OncoLand. Those can be viewed on our wiki.
We’ll be releasing videos and other materials to provide more details about the OmicSoft User Group Meeting. Stay tuned!