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Heterogeneous Biomedical Database Integration using a Hybrid Strategy: A P53 Cancer Research Database


Complex problems in life science research give rise to multidisciplinary collaboration, and hence, to the need for heterogeneous database integration. The tumor suppressor p53 is mutated in close to 50% of human cancers, and a small drug-like molecule with the ability to restore native function to cancerous p53 mutants is a long-held medical goal of cancer treatment. The Cancer Research DataBase (CRDB) was designed in support of a project to find such small molecules. As a cancer informatics project, the CRDB involved small molecule data, computational docking results, functional assays, and protein structure data. As an example of the hybrid strategy for data integration, it combined the mediation and data warehousing approaches. This paper uses the CRDB to illustrate the hybrid strategy as a viable approach to heterogeneous data integration in biomedicine, and provides a design method for those considering similar systems. More efficient data sharing implies increased productivity, and, hopefully, improved chances of success in cancer research. (Code and database schemas are freely downloadable,

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