Prof. Samir K. Brahmachari
J.C Bose National Fellow, Academy Professor, AcSIR
Chief Mentor, Open Source Drug Discovery
CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi
Launched with the promise of improving insights into human health and disease, the Human Genome Project a decade after its completion has revealed a wealth of information. The advent of next generation sequencing technologies and other high throughput measurements of ‘omics’ data, along with clinical phenotype association studies, has created a data deluge. However, explosive growth in biomedical data generation has not yet translated to proportionate increases in clinical returns. The increase in computing capabilities and availability of different data from advanced technologies will allow researchers to build System Biology models of various diseases in order to efficiently develop new therapeutic interventions and reduce the current prohibitively large costs of drug discovery. However, this would only be possible if we are able to capture, curate and analyze clinical data with ‘omics’ datasets using novel informatics tools to establish correlations with high level of confidence. This major transformation that hoped to bridge the gap between researchers and clinicians will primarily be driven by transformation of silos of biomedical research to an integrative field of intensive data driven discovery. Towards this end, we initiated the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) initiative to gain a system level understanding of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). OSDD has created a new paradigm for distributed co-creation through crowd sourcing and the application of social media for data gathering. The talk will highlight how the OSDD community has successfully built the biological network of Mtb by implementing the concepts of social networking, bringing together a large community of researchers and students across the globe.