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Spotfire fuels informatics at Erasmus University
November 2005
by Chris Anderson  |  Email the author


ROTTERDAM, Netherlands—In late October, Spotfire Inc. announced it entered into a three-year relationship with the Erasmus University Medical Center, based here, to provide it with DecisionSite business analytics software and consultation services as Erasmus looks to establish its own bioinformatics discipline. The project is led by the bioinformatics department unit of Erasmus Medical Center under the leadership of Prof. Peter Van der Spek.
"Spotfire visual analytics software enables scientists to integrate complex molecular and clinical data and gain insight in molecular processes underlying disease," says Van der Spek of the decision to work with Spotfire. Using this information, Erasmus researchers will initially look to gain a better understanding of biomarker behavior to monitor the progression of disease and to potentially provide treatment strategies.
"Professor Van der Spek knows Spotfire quite well and has used it for quite a long time in his work at pharmaceutical companies," says Christian Marcazzo, senior director of life science marketing at Spotfire. "He recognizes the potential that Spotfire holds in being able to integrate all the different data sources and analysis tools that are necessary on a broad scale to look at and identify biomarkers. Spotfire is the only tool where a scientist could look at SNP data, transcript data, genomic data, gene function data and proteomic data in one environment and be able to do analyses across all those different data sources."
As part of the three-year agreement, Spotfire has agreed to work with Erasmus in the development of tools and "guided analytic applications" for biomarkers, pathways visualization, bioinformatics and integration with other data sources. It will help train Erasmus students in the use of its software to help them gain more insight into how to use advanced visualizations in their research and will also investigate the deployment of visualization methods in clinical research and diagnostics.
"Important for us, too, is Erasmus will provide us with a lot of hands-on learning about how they apply software to the field of biomarker discovery, which I believe is one of the next phases of growth for Spotfire in life sciences," says Marcazzo. "From this collaboration I hope that we can learn what improvements we can make in DecisionSite or DecisionSite for Functional Genomics to help scientists more quickly analyze their data and make discoveries in it."
Code: E110507



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