JAMIA highlights several perspectives, five research articles on translational bioinformatics

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With the summer edition of JAMIA--currently online at www.JAMIA.org--AMIA's peer-reviewed journal on informatics in biomedicine and health opens the door to translational science, highlighting several perspectives and five research articles on translational bioinformatics (TBI), and suggesting that future publications in greater volume will help keep JAMIA readers abreast of new developments and applications of translational bioinformatics, just as more hospital and academic health centers are embracing molecular measurements for diagnosis and planning therapies. One of the articles is the subject of a free webinar on Aug. 4.

JAMIA Editor-in-Chief, Lucila Ohno-Machado, University of California San Diego, describes the current edition as a "landmark issue" (Vol. 18, Issue 4) that introduces articles reflecting the scientific community's extended scope in translational bioinformatics.

"The articles from this special issue are prime examples of the diversity and richness of research and innovative uses of applications," Dr. Ohno-Machado writes.

The series of articles on TBI includes Perspectives:

•"Computationally translating molecular discoveries into tools for medicine: translational bioinformatics articles now featured in JAMIA," by lead author Atul Butte, Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Butte defines TBI as "the development of storage, analytic, and interpretive methods to optimize the transformation of increasingly voluminous biomedical data into proactive, predictive, preventive, and participatory health." The authors of this article further say that rather than discussing the relevance of bioinformatics, "we need to argue that biomedical informatics is the only field in biomedicine that is ready to revolutionize human health and healthcare using these tools and measurements."
•"Translational bioinformatics: linking knowledge across biological and clinical realms," by lead author Indra Neil Sarkar, University of Vermont, who examines TBI as a discipline that builds on the early successes of complex disease study and which will be instrumental to ushering in a new era of scientific inquiry.
•"Translational Bioinformatics Year in Review", is a literature review of 2010 by lead author Russ Altman, Stanford University, that highlights advances in personal genomics, pharmacogenetics, and sequencing.
Of the five Research and Applications articles, two are free to non-subscribers as Editor's choice selections:
•"Mapping clinical phenotype data elements to standardized metadata repositories and controlled terminologies: the eMERGE Network experience," by lead author Jyotishman Pathak, Mayo Clinic, who provides a systematic study of clinical phenotypes to support greater understanding of the genetic basis of human diseases and more effective gene-based disease management.
•"Protein-network modeling of prostate cancer gene signatures reveals essential pathways in disease recurrence" by lead author James Chen, University of Chicago. Dr. Chen writes about developing targeted therapies through examination of gene signatures imprinted in critical molecular pathways.

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