Bio-medicine Combines with IT Innovation
to Create a New Era of Gene Analyses through Transnational Collaboration
The first web-based expert array analysis system---National Taiwan University Microarray Analysis Platform and System (NTUMAPs) was established by the NTU Center for Genomic Medicine in collaboration with IBM and the National Institute of Health, USA. This analysis system not only offers a series of gene expression profiling analyses, but also provides a platform to search for related information in theNCBI database and to share academic findings with researchers in other countries.
With the expansion of available nucleotide and amino acid sequence data, knowing how to use appropriate software tools running on powerful computers is necessary for biologists to identify new genes or targets. Using NTUMAPs to perform microarray analyses, researchers can efficiently identify genes with modulated expression patterns and mutant characteristics. Based on the modulated genes identified from microarray analyses, researchers can further analyze the regulatory mechanisms of human genes and thereby enhance disease prevention, facilitate the discovery of therapy targets, and shorten the time period needed for the invention of appropriate drugs.
The friendly graphic interface of NTUMAPs facilitates investigators’ search for the annotations of target genes, which provide information about the relationships between the location, expression, and function of genes. Using the hyperlink function provided by this system, users can log onto the NCBI database to obtain more information. Meanwhile, NTUMAPs integrates array analysis tools and the DB2 database management system, thus enabling users to efficiently analyze microarray data and systematically manage massive information at the lowest cost. Hopefully this web-based expert array analysis system, NTUMAPs, can expedite Taiwan's development process in biomedical research and genomic studies. National Taiwan University is expected to play a leading role in the latter.
Dr. Si-chen Li, President of NTU, pointed out that several colleges within the university had devoted their efforts to the utilization of gene chips for related studies, and that the installation of NTUMAPs is an indication that the university's efforts over the years have yielded good results. He hopes that NTUMAPs will facilitate the completion of more research projects in the future. Dr. Wu Ruei-pei, Head of the Electrical Engineering Department, also pointed that the NTUMAPs combined biotechnology with the knowledge and techniques of Electrical Engineering, and as such represented the success of inter-disciplinary integration at NTU.
"NTUMAPs is not only the first web-based array chip analysis platform but the only available microarray data analysis system in Taiwan," said Dr. Eric Y. Chuang, the Principal Investigator of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core Laboratory, NTU Center for Genomic Medicine, and Associate Professor of the Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, NTU. "Currently, we are providing the gene chip analysis services of 'NTU human 20k' and 'Affymetrix GeneChip'. NTUMAPs will be upgraded continually to incorporate more diversified functions, and to include other types of chip services. It is hoped that this web-based expert system will become the most important microarray analysis system in Taiwan."