The National Center for Biomedical Ontology (http://bioontology.org) is a consortium that comprises leading informaticians, biologists, clinicians, and ontologists funded by the NIH Roadmap to develop innovative technology and methods that allow scientists to record, manage, and disseminate biomedical information and knowledge in machine-processable form. The goals of the Center are: (1) to help unify the divergent and isolated efforts in ontology development by promoting high quality open-source, standards-based tools to create, manage, and use ontologies, (2) to create new software tools so that scientists can use ontologies to annotate and analyze biomedical data, (3) to provide a national resource for the ongoing evaluation, integration, and evolution of biomedical ontologies and associated tools and theories in the context of driving biomedical projects (DBPs), and (4) to disseminate the tools and resources of the Center and to identify, evaluate, and communicate best practices of ontology development to the biomedical community. The Center is working toward these objectives by providing tools to develop ontologies and to annotate experimental data, and by developing resources to integrate and relate existing ontologies as well as by creating repositories of biomedical data that are annotated using those ontologies. The Center is providing training workshops in ontology design, development, and usage, and is also pursuing research in ontology evaluation, quality, and use of ontologies to promote scientific discovery. Through the research activities within the Center, collaborations with the DBPs, and interactions with the biomedical community, our goal is to help scientists to work more effectively in the e-science paradigm, enhancing experiment design, experiment execution, data analysis, information synthesis, hypothesis generation and testing, and understand human disease.