Ontology for Precision Medicine: From Genomes to Public Health

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Seventh Clinical and Translational Science Ontology Workshop


The Clinical and Translational Science Ontology Group (CTSOG) invites you to join us on February 20-21, 2019 in Orlando, Florida

Orlando hotel details will follow soon.

We are happy to announce as keynote speaker:

  • Janna Hastings (Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK) speaking on Can ontologies help overcome the impasse in mental health research?


William Hogan (University of Florida, Gainesville, FL), hoganwr@ufl.edu

Barry Smith (University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY), phismith@buffalo.edu


From genomes to public health, newer and larger datasets are increasingly available to inform precision approaches to the treatment and prevention of disease and disorder​s. Managing these datasets--especially their integration--for everything from managing the opioid epidemic to the learning health system to translational science--requires more and better ontologies. This workshop will briefly survey the state-of-the-art in ontology at the nexus of these trends, identify needs and opportunities for future work and collaborations, and develop one or more white papers charting the course for the future, including a set of recommendations for key stakeholders.

If you are interested in presenting cutting edge work in this area, please email a brief presentation proposal to Barry Smith (phismith@buffalo.edu) and Bill Hogan (hoganwr@ufl.edu). We are primarily interested in ontology, but also are interested to hear from experts in the CTSA network working in a diverse range of areas, from precision medicine, to the opioid epidemic, to precision public health.

For earlier meetings in the CTS Ontology Workshop series see here.

Persons interested in attending or in presenting at the meeting should write to [1].


National Center for Ontological Research

University of Florida Division of Biomedical Informatics

University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute


February 20 (Wednesday) - 21 (Thursday), 2019


Venue: Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort 12205 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32836

A block of rooms will be available.

Draft Schedule Day 1: February 20

Wednesday Morning

8:00am: Registration and Breakfast

8:45am: Session: An Agenda for Ontology in Pursuit of the Precision Health Agenda

10:00-10:30am: Break

12:15: Lunch

Wednesday Afternoon

1:00pm: Session: Cognitive Ontologies applied to the Representation of the Diagnostic Process

3:00pm: Break

3:30pm: TBD

4:15pm: Keynote address

Janna Hastings: Can ontologies help overcome the impasse in mental health research?

Mental health conditions, including addiction, are among the most widespread causes of disability across the developed world, yet progress towards much-needed new treatments has stalled in recent years. Mental health research is hindered by a plethora of competing and often contradictory theoretical paradigms and frameworks, dividing available resources. There is no systematic overview of what is already known, and for each new result, it is difficult to predict whether and to what extent it may be applicable outside of its own (often narrowly defined) scope. The field urgently needs new approaches, which many organisations and funding agencies are calling for. I will argue that only after truly comprehensive theory and data synthesis is possible, will we be able to start to address the challenges in mental health research, and that ontologies are essential for this to happen. I will present recent work in the Mental Functioning Ontology to provide a truly integrative framework across sociocultural and biomedical perspectives on mental health. Finally, I will argue that even beyond the domain of mental health, a new focus on mental functioning in all medical conditions is a much needed ingredient for putting the "person" into "personalized medicine".

6:30pm: Dinner

Schedule Day 2: February 21

Thursday Morning

8:00am: Registration and Breakfast

8:20am: TBD

9:30-9:45am: Break

9:45am: TBD

12:15pm: Lunch

Thursday - Afternoon

1:00pm: TBD

4:00pm: Close



Participants will include

Farzaneh Ashrafi (SNOMED, London, UK)

Jiang Bian (Gainesville, FL)

Matthias Brochhausen (Little Rock, Arkansas)

Michael Conlon (Gainesville, FL)

Lindsay Cowell (Dallas, TX)

Matthew Diller (Gainesville, FL)

Peter Elkin (Buffalo, NY)

Janna Hastings (Cambridge, UK)

Oliver He (Ann Arbor, MI)

Amanda Hicks (Gainesville, FL)

William Hogan (Gainesville, FL)

David Limbaugh (Buffalo, NY)

Matthew McConnell (Gainesville, FL)

Tona Mendoza (Gainesville, FL)

Jihad Obeid (Charleston, SC)

Mark Sinclair (Baltimore, MD)

Barry Smith (Buffalo, NY)

Suzanne Santamaria (SNOMED, London, UK)

Chris Stoeckert (U Penn, PA)

Sonya White (Gainesville, FL)