Workshop on Ontology of Diseases

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General Information

The National Center for Biomedical Ontology will host a two-day workshop focused on the ontology of diseases on November 6-7, 2006 in Baltimore, MD.

The goals of the workshop are to promote sound, principles-based ontology construction and to raise the level of cooperation between people who work in this and related fields.

Preliminary Agenda

Monday November 6


- Introduction

- Session I: Disease Ontologies - Where We Are (Moderator: Rex Chisholm)

  • Rex Chisholm: OBO Disease Ontology
  • Winston Hide or Oliver Hofmann: eVOC Ontologies
  • Kent Spackman: SNOMED CT


- Session II: What is a Disease? (Moderator: Barry Smith)

Tuesday November 7


- Session III: Problems of Disease Ontologies (Moderator: Werner Ceusters)


- Session IV: The Next Steps: Moderated Discussion (Moderatrix: Suzanna Lewis)

- Informal Strategy Session

(The workshop will start on Monday November 6 at 9 am and will end on Tuesday November 7 at 6 pm.)


Carol Bean -– National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health, U.S.A

Olivier Bodenreider -– National Library of Medicine, U.S.A

Mathias Brochhausen -– IFOMIS, Saarland University, Germany

Werner Ceusters -– ECOR, Saarland University, Germany

Rex Chisholm -– Center for Genetic Medicine, Northwestern University, U.S.A

Christopher Chute -– NCBO, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, U.S.A

Elaine Collier -– National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health, U.S.A

Lindsay Cowell -– Immunology, Duke University, U.S.A.

Louis Goldberg -– Oral Biology, University at Buffalo, U.S.A

Kristel Hackett -– MGH Laboratory of Computer Science, U.S.A

Frank Hartel -– National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S.A

Winston Hide -– National Bioinformatics Institute, University Western Cape, South Africa

Oliver Hofmann -– National Bioinformatics Institute, University Western Cape, South Africa

Ingvar Johansson -– IFOMIS, Saarland University, Germany

Anand Kumar -– IFOMIS, Saarland University, Germany

Dirk Lanzerath -– German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences, Germany

Suzanna Lewis -– NCBO, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.S.A

Onard Mejino -– Structural Informatics Group, University of Washington, U.S.A

Chris Mungall -– NCBO, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.S.A

Fabian Neuhaus -– NCBO, University at Buffalo, U.S.A

Richard Scheuermann -– Pathology, U.T. Southwestern Medical Center, U.S.A

Stefan Schulz -– Medical Informatics, Freiburg University Hospital, Germany

Kent Speckman -– Medical Informatics, Oregon Health & Science University, U.S.A

Nigam Shah -– NCBO, Stanford Medical Informatics, U.S.A

Barry Smith -– NCBO, University at Buffalo, U.S.A

Lynn Schriml -– The Institute for Genomic Research, USA

Owen White -– The Institute for Genomic Research, USA

Neil Williams -– Philosophy, University at Buffalo, U.S.A

Gao Yong -– Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, U.S.A


Inn at the Colonnade 4 West University Parkway Baltimore, Maryland 21218 Telephone: +1 410 235 5400 Fax: +1 410 235 5572

The Inn at the Colonnade is located across from Johns Hopkins University less than four miles from Baltimore's CBD and historic Inner Harbor, and only 20 minutes from BWI International Airport.

A block of rooms have been reserved for those Workshop participants and attendees wishing to stay at the Inn at the Colonnade. Reservations may be made by calling 1-800-222-TREE. When making reservations, workshop participants and attendees are asked to identify themselves as being a member of the NCBO group. All reservations must be guaranteed for late arrival by charging to a major credit card. Workshop participants and attendees are encouraged to make room reservations no later than 10/15/06. After 10/15/06, the Inn at the Colonnade may offer unused rooms held in the NCBO block to other customers. Reservations requested by Workshop participants and attendees after 10/15/06 will be accepted by the Inn at the Colonnade based upon availability and prevailing rates.


If you have any suggestions or questions about the workshop, please don't hesitate to contact Fabian Neuhaus.

For the usual practical reasons we want to keep the number of people attending small. For this reason the REGISTRATION IS CLOSED.

Links and Literature

The workshop is associated with FOIS 2006 and KRMed 2006.

OBO disease ontology

eVOC ontologies


Physiome Project


Amarnath Gupta et alia: Towards a formalization of disease-specific ontologies for neuroinformatics.

Cornelius Rosse, Anand Kumar, Jose LV Mejino Jr, Daniel L Cook, Landon T Detwilern and Barry Smith, “A Strategy for Improving and Integrating Biomedical Ontologies

Barry Smith, Werner Ceusters, Anand Kumar and Cornelius Rosse, “On Carcinomas and Other Pathological Entities”, Comparative and Functional Genomics

Some papers on SNOMED.