Web scientist and Research Associate Professor Joanne Luciano in the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is co-chairing the 2012 Semantics in Healthcare and Life Sciences (CSHALS) conference Feb 22-24 in Boston, Mass. The conference is focused on the use of semantic web technologies in the pharmaceutical industry and academic research labs. The conference is open to any interested scientist.

“The conference is the only one of its kind directly focused on improving healthcare and the life sciences through smart technologies, with an emphasis on application to 'Big Data.'” Luciano said. “Rensselaer is proud to once again be in a leadership role at this conference to continue to enhance the capabilities and progress of healthcare and medicine.”

Semantic web technology provides additional meaning to computational data, allowing for better and more meaningful links between data. Semantically enabled data can be more easily searched, cited, analyzed, and modeled, according to the scientists within the Tetherless World Constellation.

“We hope to demystify the use of semantics to the participants in the conference,” Luciano said. “The pharmaceutical industry could greatly benefit from semantic technologies. The data these semantic systems can provide could improve drug safety and performance and create shorter drug development timelines. These are the reasons we started this conference.”

The conference will include a full-day hands-on tutorial lead by web scientists in the Rensselaer constellation. The tutorial will focus on the basics of semantic technologies and how to build simple semantic applications. There will also be several keynotes from top computer scientists working in the healthcare arena, technology talks, and other presentations. Topics will range from linked data and modeling to the use of semantics in medical diagnoses.

For more information, including a full list of speakers and topics, agenda, registration information, and sponsors of the event, go to http://www.iscb.org/cshals2012.

About the Tetherless World Research ConstellationThe Tetherless World Research Constellation at Rensselaer explores the research and engineering principles that underlie the web, to enhance the web’s reach beyond the desktop and laptop computer, and develop new technologies and languages that expand the capabilities of the web under three themes: Future Web, Informatics, and Semantic Foundations.

The goals of the constellation include making the next-generation web natural to use while being responsive to the growing variety of policy, educational, societal, and scientific needs. Research areas include: web science, privacy, intellectual property, general compliance, web-based medical and health systems, semantic eScience, data-science, semantic data frameworks, next-generation virtual observatories, semantic data and knowledge integration, ontologies, semantic rules and queries, semantic applications, data and information visualization, and knowledge provenance, trust, and explanation for science.

The faculty, staff, and students (graduate and undergraduate) use powerful scientific and mathematical techniques from many disciplines to explore the modeling of the next-generation web from network-, data-, and information-centric views.