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Re: KB note

From: Kei Cheung <kei.cheung@yale.edu>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2008 16:43:18 -0400
To: Matthias Samwald <samwald@gmx.at>
Cc: kc28@email.med.yale.edu, Tim Clark <twclark@nmr.mgh.harvard.edu>, "M. Scott Marshall" <marshall@science.uva.nl>, public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org, Huajun Chen <huajunsir@zju.edu.cn>
Message-id: <483C7266.2080403@yale.edu>

Matthias Samwald wrote:
>> Speaking of national boundaries, I wonder if alternative medicine 
>> (e.g., herbal
>> medicine) would also be of interest to this community. For example, 
>> Huperzine
>> is a drug derived from the herb Huperzia serrata. I also wonder if 
>> there are
>> hypotheses regarding the study of herbs in the possible treatment of
>> neurological diseases.
> I would also be very motivated to help in this kind of research. 
> Specifically, Huperzine A would be a very interesting use-case for our 
> developments. It is a herbal compound with a history in folk medicine 
> and is available OTC in most countries, yet it rivals the 
> effectiveness of currently leading Alzheimer medications such as 
> Tacrine. It also has a dual mode of action that does not only involve 
> acetylcholinesterase inhibition, but also modulation of the NMDA 
> receptor. The implications of this for the treatment of Alzheimer's 
> are still a rather hot topic.
That's great! Motivation is a good driving force. I agree such a herbal 
compound like Huperzine A can help translate herbal medicine into 
mainstream medicine.
> The integration of knowledge from traditional medicine, plant 
> taxonomy/phylogeny/biochemistry and receptor binding databases (PDSP 
> Ki database, IUPHAR) could lead to the identification of some 
> extremely novel therapeutic strategies. Finding candidate molecules in 
> such a way might be much more effective than weeding through libraries 
> of compounds generated by combinatorial synthesis etc. The challenge 
> lies in the integration of some very heterogenous datasets that come 
> from vastly different disciplines, which is exactly the field of 
> research where Semantic Web technologies are most effective.
I'm also working with the SenseLab team to add Huperzine related data to 
BrainPharm. Speaking of traditional medicine, I copied to Huajun Chen 
who is heavily involved in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) database 
development. Plus he is a semantic web person. Perhaps, he can also help 
us in exploring/establishing this "east meets west" approach.
> I guess the major problem for this kind of research is that there are 
> no funding programmes that span China, the US and Asia...
Sustainability is an important issue.  If this community project takes 
off, we should seek international funding opportunities ....
> Cheers,
> Matthias Samwald
> DERI Galway, Ireland // Semantic Web Company, Austria
> http://www.deri.ie/
> http://www.semantic-web.at/
Received on Tuesday, 27 May 2008 20:44:09 UTC

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