Joint DG CONNECT-diXa workshop - Challenges in data infrastructures and e-Science for Human Safety


Introduction: “Why use a rat if we can use the computer?”
How to capture, harmonize, store, curate, preserve and analyze big data is of increasing importance to the field of life sciences where we see increasingly complex technologies such as genomics generating ever growing bodies of data on human health and disease. Within this domain, we are aware of the potential of strengthening our scientific insights if we would successfully cross borders of traditional disciplines in a truly translational research endeavor.
This would be greatly facilitated, should we be able to effectively store, preserve, share and integrate the data coming from applying datadense technologies to the various areas of biomedical research and beyond. This would enable extracting new knowledge through e-Science approaches from heterogeneous and possibly, unstructured data for advancing human health. This will require the development of new computational concepts, tools and methods.
This may be of particular interest for developing better approaches for assessing human safety of novel chemicals, such as drugs,industrial chemicals, cosmetics and food ingredients. Till date, chemical safety assessment relies on animal models which are increasingly criticized because of their limited predictability for human health while simultaneously being time-consuming, costly and taking considerable numbers of animal lifes. Here is where the building of a European data-infrastructure and e-Science environments which enables sharing yet untapped data from toxicological and pharmacological experiments on animal and cellular systems with molecular disease data bases and chemical information, within a dedicated IT infrastructure, can make a groundbreaking difference by advancing the development of well validated virtual models for predicting human safety.

Aim of this workshop: “I went to the cross roads”
This workshop - for invitees only - aims at bringing together leading representatives from the research communities of toxicology and pharmacology, clinical sciences, and computational scientists with IT experts in database management, HPC, preservation, as well as with industrial stakeholders from informatics and the chemical manufacturing industries, and from regulatory authorities on chemical safety. The potential of the sharing and integrating of relevant data, data infrastructure and e-Science environments across Europe for the purpose of developing in silico models for human safety will be explored. The main trust is the stimulation of cross-talks and collaboration beyond traditional borders between scientific disciplines, and between participating stakeholders from a number of communities (science, industry, government, finance). The foreseen outcome of this workshop will be a road map which lays down a medium- and longer-term strategy for advancing e-Science research on human safety through creating a data-infrastructure (ecosystem), by aligning a multitude of relevant research communities with important public and private stakeholders within a European innovation partnership. This workshop will add to the development and deployment HORIZON 2020 and provide recommendations in the area of in data infrastructures and e-Science for Human Safety.

The full program can be accessed here

The final report of the workshop can be found here