Informatics and Standards for Nanomedicine Technology




Nanomedicine deals with the development and biomedical application of nanotechnology-based methods and products. Nanotechnology provides the ability to manipulate and characterize matter at the nanoscale. This ability has enabled the research and development of nanoscale-sized objects such as nanoparticles and other nanomaterials for biomedical applications that have the potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. In particular, nanotechnology has the potential to make medicine more personalized. However, to realize the goal of personalized medicine, multidisciplinary teams of collaborating scientists must manage and analyze large amounts of data generated from basic, pre-clinical and clinical studies, and clinical outcomes in an integrated way. Before one can effectively use the large and diverse nanomedicine datasets in translational research efforts to achieve the goal of personalized medicine, there are several unresolved issues related to information management in nanomedicine that have to be addressed. Three areas of nanomedicine informatics are critical in addressing these issues: information resources; taxonomies, controlled vocabularies and ontologies; and, information standards. Progress towards resolving these issues is essential to the rapidly growing field of nanomedicine informatics.



Nathan A. Baker, Ph.D. is the Chief Scientist for Signature Science and the Signature Discovery Initiative at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He is currently Lead for the National Cancer Institute Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG®) Nanotechnology Working Group and Chair for the ASTM E56.01 Subcommittee on Nanotechnology Informatics.  Dr. Baker's research is in the area of computational biophysics, nanotechnology, and informatics. He is actively involved in the development of new algorithms and software for computational biology and modeling in support of these research projects, including development of the APBS and PDB2PQR biomolecular electrostatics software packages and the NanoParticle Ontology.  Dr. Baker is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles as well as several reviews and book chapters. He has been awarded the Hewlett-Packard Junior Faculty Excellence Award by the American Chemical Society, the National Cancer Institute caBIG® Connecting Collaborators Award, and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.