Monday, June 20, 2016

Report from New Orleans: 76th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association

Members of the T2D Knowledge Portal team braved extreme heat and humidity, as well as icy air conditioning, to attend the American Diabetes Association conference in New Orleans, LA. Our booth in the conference exhibit hall was a great way to interact personally with conference attendees and showcase the Portal. Many genetics researchers stopped by for one-on-one tutorials on our new tools and features. And clinicians and diabetes patients, even if they had no immediate use for genetic information, were happy to hear the goals of the project—to accelerate the identification of genes involved in T2D and, ultimately, to find new treatments and better understand the disease mechanism. 

We were pleased to welcome some special visitors to our booth: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Director Griffin Rodgers and Deputy Division Director Philip Smith. NIDDK is a major supporter of the T2D Knowledge Portal project.

Drs. Philip Smith (left) and Griffin Rodgers visit the Portal booth

Dr. Smith also made an video statement as part of the media coverage at ADA, eloquently explaining the rationale behind the Portal and the needs that it can address.

If you missed us at ADA, come visit us at our booth at the American Society for Human Genetics meeting next October! And if you can’t meet us in person, please feel free to email us at any time. We’re happy to answer questions or provide help in understanding the Portal data and tools.

Type 2 Diabetes Knowledge Portal team at ADA

Friday, June 10, 2016

Come meet the Portal team at ADA, booth #1762!

Today’s news comes to you from the Big Easy—New Orleans, LA, where the 76th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association are in full swing this weekend. Members of the Knowledge Portal team have traveled here to talk to researchers about how the Portal can become even more useful in helping to generate hypotheses that spark insights into the mechanism of T2D and the development of new therapies. Starting at 10am on Saturday June 11, we’ll be at booth #1762 in the exhibit hall, ready to hear your suggestions and give you an individual tutorial on the Portal’s tools and features. There just might be a gift waiting for you, too!

We’ve been working hard and we have an incredible number of new features to show off at #2016ADA. We’ll be featuring them individually in this space in the coming weeks, with in-depth explanation of each. To list some of the highlights:

  • a collaborative project between software engineers at the University of Michigan and the Broad Institute has come to fruition with the integration of LocusZoom into the Portal. This interactive visualization looks, superficially, like a Manhattan plot—but it’s so much more. It shows the significance of variant associations with any of several phenotypes and also displays linkage disequilibrium among nearby variants, and you can choose to do conditional analysis based on any variant.
  • engineers at the Broad Institute have developed a completely new tool, called Genetic Association Interactive Tool (GAIT), that offers a multitude of options allowing you to compute custom association statistics for a variant. You can specify the phenotype to test for association, stratify samples by ancestry, choose a subset of samples to analyze based on specific phenotypic criteria, and control for specific covariates. 
  • we’ve also redesigned and augmented many of the displays of pre-computed information that are available in the Portal
  • finally, we’ve added a lot of new, informative content: a Data page with a complete description of each data set in the Portal, more background about the AMP-T2D project that supports the Portal, and more help text to guide you as you use the Portal’s interfaces

Come to the booth and let us give you a tour of these new features—or, if you're not at ADA, take a look and let us know what you think. And take a look at this great press release from NIH about the project!