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BERKELEY, CA February 1, 2008 – IO Informatics (, the leader in applying Semantic technology to Healthcare and Life Sciences, today announced its sponsorship of the “First Annual ISCB Conference of Semantics Healthcare & Life Sciences: C-SHALS” to be held March 5 – 7 in Cambridge, MA (

Taking place on March 5 – 7, 2008 in Cambridge, MA, the conference will focus on the pharmaceutical applications of Semantic Technologies. It will serve as a forum for the presentation and discussion of practical Semantics-based approaches to Drug R&D;, organized along specific topics and moderated to induce interactive discussions around sets of key questions. The conference is intended for anyone interested in understanding how best to apply intelligent information technologies in Pharmaceutical R&D.;

Ted Slater, Co-Chair of C-SHALS and Head of Pfizer’s Indications and Pathways Center of Emphasis, stated “We are delighted to have IOI involved in our first C-SHALS. They are very active in creating new ways to best apply the latest Semantic technologies to the critical work of pharma and healthcare. The C-SHALS conference is intended to act as a meeting place where those involved in the pharmaceutical arena can share ideas with their colleagues and thought leaders to better understand how best to move forward. Due to the ever increasing quantity of data being produced in the healthcare research area we have a vital need to better access and interact with it – to actually use it, rather than just storing it. Semantics does just that. It allows us to go beyond the raw data. By having such powerful tools, we then create the knowledge that will help us meet our goal of discovering new therapies to enable people to live longer and healthier lives.”

"We are very honored to have the opportunity to be involved in C-SHALS. Semantic technology is a powerful tool towards better understanding of complex biological data. For both, the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community it is vital to be able to have all available data easily searchable and usable in context. Looking at relationships between research, laboratory data and data from clinical observations provides the kind of knowledge required for rational drug design and personalized medicine. Through our working group on Semantic Applications for hypothesis generation in translational research, IO Informatics has been significantly involved in those efforts. Leaders in the field from the pharmaceutical industry and centers of excellence have contributed greatly to our work in this area through their participation in our Semantic working group. As an involved scientist myself, I feel it is important to get interested parties in one place to share ideas, share their insights, and am looking forward to many fruitful interactions at C-SHALS in March”, stated Dr. Erich Gombocz, CSO of IO Informatics. Along with chairing IOI’s working group on Semantics, Erich was recently appointed to the review and editorial board of ‘Briefings in Functional Genomics and Proteomics’.

C-SHALS will be taking place March 5 – 7, 2008 in Cambridge, MA. Keynote speakers for the conference include: Dr. John P. Glaser (Chief Information Officer, Partners HealthCare System), Dr. Enoch Huang (Executive Director, Pfizer Global Research and Development), and Dr. Isaac Kohane (Harvard Medical School). You can find out more about the conference by visiting: The Early Registration Deadline is: Feb. 6, 2008.

About IO Informatics
IO Informatics is at the forefront of a global revolution in software methods for data integration. IO Informatics’ Sentient suite of software products enables biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical and other life science researchers to structure and define complex data relationships, view these relationships, query them, and capitalize on them — all within a secure, compliant, auditable framework that helps organizations accumulate and leverage knowledge. Sentient software brings together a unique combination of Semantic and search technologies coupled with data and process management to improve efficiency and deliver more meaningful results to Life Science and Healthcare research organizations. Founded in 2003, IO Informatics has recently moved to new offices in Berkeley, California.(