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Introductions: Bill Bug, Laboratory for Bioimaging and Anatomical Informatics, Drexel U. College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

From: William Bug <William.Bug@drexelmed.edu>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 13:35:07 -0500
Message-Id: <5541EBF1-73A6-4430-9FF3-5650FF87B331@drexelmed.edu>
Cc: John Wilbanks <wilbanks@creativecommons.org>
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org

Hi All,

My name is Bill Bug.  I am a neuroscientist and informaticist with a  
strong interest in semantic web technology standards and applications.

I've been lurking in the interstices of the W3C Semantic Web LSIG web  
pages for several years now.  After a recent conversation with John  
Wilbanks of The ScienceCommons, I realized its about time to "out"  
myself.	;-)

My Ph.D. training focused on the use of physiological techniques -  
single-channel, whole-cell and micro-electrode recording - to uncover  
the neuropharmacological basis for pre-synaptic, neurotransmitter  
inhibition in isolated neurons.  I used statistical techniques to  
monitor effects on pre-synaptic calcium channels and used biochemical  
manipulation of these systems to examine the effect fatty acid second  
messengers (i.e., metabolites of Arachidonic Acid) have on  
presynaptic calcium channel behavior.  This work was performed in a  
variety of invertebrate and vertebrate systems - isolated sensory  
neurons from the pleural ganglion of the sea slug, Aplysia  
californica, isolated sympathetic neurons from embryonic chicks, and  
the squid giant synapse (Loligo paelei). I later went on to apply  
similar techniques studying the cellular mechansims of circadian  
rhythms in Drosophila melanogaster and the Tobacco Hornworm, Manduca  
sexta.  In that context, I created one of the first digital  
microscopy workstations designed for large-scale quantitative  
analysis of immunohistochemical protein distribution in brain tissue.

Sorry for all the nitty-gritty wet lab detail, but I think its  
important to stress one of the most valuable aspects of the viewpoint  
I bring to bare on the informatics work I do derives from the decade  
I spent working as a neuroscientist and molecular biophysicist on a  
variety of problems across disparate biological systems.

Starting in the early 90's, I spent nearly 10 years in the commercial  
sector developing distributed, network-accessible database  
applications in the biomedical field.  This work included: creating  
LIMS systems for a combinatorial chemistry lab at a  
neuropharmaceutical company linking the automatated organic reaction  
system to product assay and archiving workstations; leading product  
development for the life science literature database company BIOSIS  
(The Biological Abstracts/Zoological Record) as they were creating  
their first web-based products; and doing ontological engineering  
development in the R&D group at the bioinformatics company, DoubleTwist.

Now I work with Dr. Jonathan Nissanov in his neuroimaing/brain  
mapping laboratory within the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at  
Drexel University College of Medicine.  In that lab, I am responsible  
for designing and implementing distributed workflow systems,  
neuroinformatics interoperability frameworks, novel automated imaging  
hardware, and Java-based distributed imaging clients and analyis  
tools.  We generate and host various types of spatially-mapped,  
neuro- data sets where the spatial coordinate system is based in  
brain neuroanatomy.  We have also worked a bit on - and I have a  
strong interest in - integrating literature informatics resources  
into these systems.

In addition to the work I do in the lab proper, I'm working  
extensively with large-scale, field-wide neuroinformatics projects  
constructing semantically-based tools for data integration and  
analysis.  For one of these projects, the Biomedical Informatics  
Research Network (BIRN - www.nbirn.net), in addition to being a  
member laboratory providing scientific data and software tools to the  
Mouse BIRN testbed project, I participate on both the Ontology and  
XML working groups responsible for defining standards and best  
practices for use of these technologies across the entirety of BIRN.   
One of the emerging problems of critical importance to  
neuroinformatics projects like the BIRN is the need to develop and  
apply shared formalisms and knowledge resources to classify/annotate  
the complex phenotype, assay and evironmental information found  
across the wide variety of primary experimental data sets that must  
be placed within a shared data integration/analysis/mining context.

I have substantial working knowledge of WSDL and web services and  
have been looking to work with other XML-based formalisms - OWL,  
Topic Maps, SPARQL, etc. - with wide acceptance across the web, which  
can be of particular use in implementing the types of systems I  
describe above.

I am very excited about the prospect of using - and acting as a  
testbed for - the valuable semantic web technologies under review by  
the W3C Semantic Web Health Care and Life Science Interest Group.

Bill Bug

Bill Bug
Senior Analyst/Ontological Engineer

Laboratory for Bioimaging  & Anatomical Informatics
Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
Drexel University College of Medicine
2900 Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA    19129
215 991 8430 (ph)
610 457 0443 (mobile)
215 843 9367 (fax)

Please Note: I now have a new email - William.Bug@DrexelMed.edu

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Received on Thursday, 23 March 2006 05:48:12 UTC

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