December 9, 2011

Informatics team creates gene app, wins national contest

Members of informatics team have been recognized by National Library of Medicine for gene app.

Three members of the Vanderbilt community are among the winners of Show Off  Your Apps, a national software application contest sponsored by the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md.

They are Bing Zhang, assistant professor of biomedical informatics, and two former members of his lab, Jerome Jourquin and Dexter Duncan.

NLM’s contest solicited applications that use the library’s data to develop innovative ways for people to obtain and share scientific and medical information.

The Vanderbilt team submitted their Web-based application, GLAD4U, which is short for Gene List Automatically Derived for You.

When the GLAD4U user enters a disease or other biomedical concept, the application looks for related publications within PubMed, NLM’s online biomedical literature repository. GLAD4U identifies any mentions of genes within the relevant PubMed entries, automatically ranks the genes mentioned in terms of their apparent importance in relation to the search term, and returns the ranked list of genes to the user.

Show Off Your Apps resulted in five winning entries and five runners-up. Bang and Jourquin traveled to Bethesda for the Nov. 2 awards ceremony.

Jourquin now works with an international breast cancer research foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Duncan is a computer systems analyst II in Vanderbilt’s Department of Biostatistics.

Media contact: Jennifer Wetzel