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IMI/eTriks alignment workshop

June 10, 2015 | By Sjoerd van Hagen

During the TranSMART architectural workshop we have discussed the future of TranSMART from a developer perspective. We focussed on creating a solid but flexible, maintainable architecture on which we can build new features without losing too much time integrating them into the existing codebase. While this is necessary and highly valuable we cannot lose track of what the TranSMART users would like to see in the coming releases for TranSMART, 1.3 and 2.0

To this end an alignment workshop was hosted by Imperial College where all projects under eTriks could give a short presentation of their work. eTriks is a European initiative to promote collaboration by driving the adoption of a common open source platform and guidelines for the re-use of research data, promoting data harmonisation and providing advice and support for translational research projects. The long term goals for doing this are enabling disease stratification and biomarker discovery.

In The Netherlands the CTMM Translational Research IT (TraIT) project is developing and implementing a long-lasting IT infrastructure for translational research projects in the Netherlands that will facilitate the collection, storage, analysis, and archiving of  data generated in the biomedical research projects.

There is a lot of overlap between the goals of eTriks and CTMM-TraIT, and both use TranSMARTas a data warehouse. Therefore TraIT was also represented at the workshop, giving a presentation about their long and short term goals and participating in the discussions about the future of TranSMART.

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We started off the first day with a short introduction, followed by a presentation from each and every project. It was very interesting to see all these projects using TranSMART for different kinds of translational research. We have seen talks about Alzheimer, safety and side-effects of new candidate medicines, classification of neurodegenerative disease, bringing antimicrobials to patients, genomics England and many more.

The second day was dedicated to discussions about the future of TranSMART. We split up in four groups, due to the number of participants, mixing users with developers, to discuss the future of TranSMART. We learned a lot about the issues that people encounter and the features they would like to see implemented to get around these. Luckily, we found that many users from different projects have the same feature requests, and most of the missing features we were already aware of. Still, it is good to hear about the actual use cases behind the feature request.

We would like to thank Imperial College for hosting this workshop and all the attendants for joining and sharing their experiences. I would also like to extend a special thank you to Ioannis Pandis for pointing out the farmer’s market nearby as a great place to have lunch, as well as the Thai restaurant where we had a great dinner. All in all, we have had a great time In London and we hope to see you guys soon.