2006-07-11

Pharmacoinformatics

Authors from the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in India wrote an article on the Pharmabiz.com web site, Pharmacoinformatics: Expanding Horizons, a good overview of this emerging field.

It's a specialized umbrella over various informatics systems, for the purpose of drug discovery. Beyond the expected bioinformatics there's immunoinformatics, genomics, neuroinformatics, toxicoinformatics, health care informatics and more including the emerging metabolome informatics (drug metabolism, and metabolic pathways). This kind of interdisciplinary data sharing and bridging holds much potential.

The article doesn't specifically mention pharmacogenomics, but it certainly is relevant. There's a great lecture video on the subject by Russ Altman. His PharmaGKB database is a handy tool; a simple search for "depression" yields publications, phenotype and genotype data, and other info you may not otherwise see in one place.

An advantage of informatics is online integration with freely available databases and tools online. Neuroinformatics resources have ever-improving capabilities, functions, and user interfaces. One innovative site is BrainMaps (not to be confused with BrainMap, though that's a great site too, and it's definitely not the Allen Brain Atlas at brain-map.org).

I can't mention neuroinformatics without a shout-out for my fave neuroinformatics blog: BrainTechSci. News about developments in the field, of course, but delivered with insider perspectives and blog snark. It's stuff you won't learn at an educational site, but perhaps more useful.




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