At Leipzig University, a new Junior Research Group started its work at the beginning of August. Four scientists are working on the development and application of knowledge-based software for determining and analyzing phenotypes.
Phenotyping, i.e. the bundling of human characteristics, plays an important role in the diagnostic process, the assessment of risk factors, therapy suggestions and measures, as well as in the recruitment of study participants. Against this background, the software will support medical and clinical experts in identifying relevant subjects for further analyses or studies, in selecting the required data and in making them available for subsequent analyses. The data available from the Data Integration Centers within the framework of the Medical Informatics Initiative will form the basis for this. The scientific concept is based on the use cases PheP and POLAR of the SMITH Consortium and should perspectively be applicable to comparable projects in the medical field. In addition, the developed models and algorithms will be published in a web portal and made available to researchers through standardized interfaces.
The Junior Research Group is headed by Dr. Alexandr Uciteli. Since 2008, the graduated computer scientist has been conducting research at the Institute of Medical Informatics, Statistics and Epidemiology (IMISE) at the Leipzig University in the field of formal ontology and ontology-based software development, focusing, among others, on algorithmic phenotyping, semantic search, and ontological grounding of clinical metadata. In 2018, he received his PhD from the Leipzig University. His goal is to evaluate the clinical care data made available as part of the Medical Informatics Initiative in an automated way and to make it available to science in the best possible way using new IT technologies. "What fascinates me about my work is the entire scientific process - from the initial idea to the development of a theory to its successful implementation in practice - especially when it comes to supporting medical research," says Uciteli.
In collaboration with the newly created Medical Data Science Professorship and the Data Integration Center at Leipzig University Medical Center, the junior scientists will actively participate in data analyses. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project within the framework of the Medical Informatics Initiative initially until the end of June 2024 with around 800,000 euros.