Vaccine and Drug Ontology VDOS Studies


  • Cui Tao
  • Oliver He
  • Junguk Hur

Workshop type:

  • Workshop

Workshop Abstract

Vaccines and drugs have contributed to dramatic improvements in public health worldwide. There have been efforts from various areas in the biomedical ontology community that extend existing health and clinical terminology systems (e.g., SNOMED, RxNorm, NDF-RT, and MedDRA), vernacular medical terminologies, and their applications to research and clinical data associated with vaccines and drugs. This workshop will provide a platform for showcasing and discussing innovative solutions and challenges in the development and applications of biomedical ontologies to represent and analyze vaccines and drugs, their administration, immune responses induced, adverse events, and similar topics. The workshop will cover two main areas: (i) ontology representation of vaccines/drugs and related domains, and (ii) ontology applications in real world situations. Examples of biomedical subject matter in the scope of this workshop: drug components (e.g., drug active ingredients, vaccine antigens and adjuvants), administration details (e.g., dosage, administration route, and frequency), gene immune responses and pathways, drug-drug or drug-food interactions, and adverse events. Both research and clinical subjects will be covered. We will also focus on computational methods used to study these, for example, literature mining of vaccine/drug-gene interaction networks, meta-analysis of host immune responses, time event analysis of pharmacological effects, and ontology-based software development. We have successfully organized six workshops in the VDOS workshop series in conjunction with ICBO.


Drugs and vaccines have been critical to prevent and treat human and animal diseases. Work in both (drugs and vaccines) areas is closely related - from preclinical research and development to manufacturing, clinical trials, government approval and regulation, and post-licensure usage surveillance and monitoring. Although several related ontologies have been initiated with much progress made in the recent years, we still face many challenges in order to fully and logically represent drugs and vaccines, and efficiently use the ontologies. In the case of ontology representation, no consensuses have been achieved on how to ontologically represent many relevant areas. Meanwhile, it is also a challenge to efficiently apply biomedical ontologies to solve research and clinical problems. For example, is there any advantage in applying ontologies for advanced literature mining in order to discover gene interaction networks underlying protective immunity or adverse events? How to apply ontologies for personalized medicine? How to use ontologies to improve the performance of complex vaccine/drug research and clinical data analysis? This workshop aims to bring together a diverse group of individuals from clinical, research and pharma-biotech areas to identify, propose, and discuss solutions for important research problems in the ontological representation of vaccine and drug information covering development and preparation, administration, mechanisms of action including induced host immune responses, adverse events, etc. This workshop is expected to support the deeper understanding of vaccine and drug mechanisms and effects. More specific topics will be selected based on attendees’ submissions and interests.