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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of Ontologies in Biomedicine and Life Sciences (OBML 2010)

Open Access Introduction

OBML – Ontologies in Biomedicine and Life Sciences

Heinrich Herre1*, Robert Hoehndorf2, Janet Kelso3, Frank Loebe4 and Stefan Schulz5

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology (IMISE), University of Leipzig, Haertelstrasse 16-18, 04107 Leipzig, Germany

2 Department of Genetics, Downing Street, CB2 3EH Cambridge, UK

3 Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

4 Department of Computer Science, University of Leipzig, Johannisgasse 26, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

5 Institute of Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 2, 8036 Graz, Austria

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Journal of Biomedical Semantics 2011, 2(Suppl 4):I1  doi:10.1186/2041-1480-2-S4-I1

Published: 9 August 2011

Abstract

The OBML 2010 workshop, held at the University of Mannheim on September 9-10, 2010, is the 2nd in a series of meetings organized by the Working Group “Ontologies in Biomedicine and Life Sciences” of the German Society of Computer Science (GI) and the German Society of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS). Integrating, processing and applying the rapidly expanding information generated in the life sciences — from public health to clinical care and molecular biology — is one of the most challenging problems that research in these fields is facing today. As the amounts of experimental data, clinical information and scientific knowledge increase, there is a growing need to promote interoperability of these resources, support formal analyses, and to pre-process knowledge for further use in problem solving and hypothesis formulation.

The OBML workshop series pursues the aim of gathering scientists who research topics related to life science ontologies, to exchange ideas, discuss new results and establish relationships. The OBML group promotes the collaboration between ontologists, computer scientists, bio-informaticians and applied logicians, as well as the cooperation with physicians, biologists, biochemists and biometricians, and supports the establishment of this new discipline in research and teaching. Research topics of OBML 2010 included medical informatics, Semantic Web applications, formal ontology, bio-ontologies, knowledge representation as well as the wide range of applications of biomedical ontologies to science and medicine. A total of 14 papers were presented, and from these we selected four manuscripts for inclusion in this special issue.

An interdisciplinary audience from all areas related to biomedical ontologies attended OBML 2010. In the future, OBML will continue as an annual meeting that aims to bridge the gap between theory and application of ontologies in the life sciences. The next event emphasizes the special topic of the ontology of phenotypes, in Berlin, Germany on October 6-7, 2011.