The FaceBase consortium is a distributed network of researchers investigating craniofacial development and dysmorphology. The consortium includes research projects directly participating via funded "spoke" projects as well as members of the craniofacial research community at large. The collection, sharing and integration of heterogeneous data, including genetic, imaging, and anatomical, from human and animal models are essential for advancing craniofacial research. We will develop and maintain a FaceBase 2 Data Management and Integration Hub infrastructure that will properly store, represent, and serve these data to the research community, and in addition provide access to tools for visualizing, integrating, annotating, linking and analyzing the data. Our three broad aims will provide not only the needed data migration and management, but also a set of user-centered tools for data visualization, comparison and annotation. These are:
Aim 1 : Create an infrastructure driven by principles of ease of use and user centered design to manage data throughout its lifecycle. By taking a user centric approach and supporting the use of data throughout its lifecycle, the rate of discovery and utility of the hub can be maximized.
Aim 2 : Provide tools within the Hub that accelerate craniofacial research by enabling data annotation, integration and analysis. To maximize the utility of the Hub for both spoke projects and outside users, our proposed infrastructure will allow any user to define a personal workspace, organize datasets visualization tools and analysis tools into specific user-driven workflows.
Aim 3 : Promote use and collaboration across the FaceBase research network. The Hub will provide a wide range of collaboration tools and services to the consortium as well as organizing face-to-face meetings in order to enhance collaboration. We have assembled an experienced team of experts in bioinformatics, imaging, genetics, mouse and human studies, including FaceBase participants who bring firsthand knowledge of the needs within the craniofacial research community. The FaceBase team is intentionally diverse, to provide each spoke group at least one informed contact who will play an integral role in the development and implementation of the Hub, thereby ensuring that the data of each spoke project will have maximum impact on the community of researchers.
Recent advances in proteomics and genomics have the potential to lead to better understanding of craniofacial development and dysmorphology. The FaceBase 2 Hub will provide a data sharing and analytic platform that will allow craniofacial researchers to collaborate more effectively, accelerating the rate at which advances in understanding craniofacial dysmorphology can be made.