Molecular profiling - including genomic, transcriptomic, metabolomic and proteomic profiling - is currently revolutionising biology and medicine. Yet the capacity to generate the data greatly outpaces our ability to analyse it. This global challenge can be further separated as follows:
- Connecting static genome sequences with dynamic profiles – transcriptomes, proteomes and metabolomes.
- The analysis of biological networks at multiple scales – from intra-cellular interactions between proteins to inter-species interactions between humans and our microbiome.
- The integration of molecular profiling data with personal health, environmental and social data.
- The development of infrastructures for biomedical researchers to move, store, analyse and present data in a fashion that is transparent and reproducible.
- Linking data from various sources so that they can be interrogated and mined in an integrated fashion.
Ireland is well positioned to address these challenges with critical mass and strengths in:
- bioinformatics, which involves operations at the Conway Institute, UCD in addition to the 50 plus bioinformatics groups around Ireland – many of which are SFI-funded;
- systems biology, which is the predominant focus for the SFI-funded CSET Systems Biology Ireland, UCD and the Centre for Systems Medicine, RCSI, and
- data linkage, including coordination, management and analytics, which is the mainstay of the SFI-funded Research Centre INSIGHT
It is proposed that a national product offering under an Irish ELIXIR Node would include:
- Personalised Medicine
- genome sequencing and algorithms for bioinformatics annotation
- proteomics and analysis of proteomics data
- computational modelling of diseases and personalised patient stratification
- development of personalised molecular profiles
- Data integration
- between different types of –omics data
- between molecular and phenotypical datasets
- reconstruction of biological networks
This above will form the nucleus of the proposed Irish ELIXIR Node and will be extended as the remit and expectations of the Node are expanded.