An ODE to Open Science

Posted by Matthew M. Riggs, Ph.D. on Sep 29, 2017 8:05:00 AM

Developing quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) models is hard work, without doubt. Such projects often take months, if not years, and may include extensive experimental contributions and input from numerous discipline experts.

Teams working on these models must understand, organize and provide a quantitative construct for signaling pathways, cellular and organ-level functions, and whole body outcomes along with myriad controlling and feedback mechanisms co-functioning to maintain a system’s sentience.

Once completed though, researchers can conduct question-based investigations to guide decision making around target identification, proof of mechanism and concept, dose and regimen, patient enrollment, biomarkers, study design,and many other key questions in drug development and clinical therapeutics. These questions can be explored by including genetic variants, disease mechanisms, therapeutic and other interventions within a systems modeling framework.

When that research is complete and a QSP model is fit-for purpose, should the model be shared as part of an Open Science effort? After all, how can developer(s) afford to make results and content freely and openly available?

Let’s argue instead that developers cannot afford to miss the opportunity afforded by Open Science. Failure to openly disclose and make content available only stunts the growth of our advancing community. Maintaining a “(not) my model” stance severely limits the impact and credibility of our work and all subsequent contributions to more wide-ranging research and science.

On October 7, 2017, please join Dr. Matthew Riggs, Chief Science Officer of Metrum Research Group LLC (MetrumRG), as he presents the open science position during the Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Symposium at the University at Buffalo South Campus.

In An Open Pitch for Open Science in QSP: Advocating By Example he’ll provide a rationale for open science as a means of making QSP model development more efficient, accessible, reproducible, and credible.  It is argued that an important side effect of this philosophy is wider acceptance and utilization, given that open models are more visible, may be peer-evaluated, and are better understood by a broader scientific and clinical base. Examples, including platforms for sharing models and open-source tools to explore these models, will be reviewed as evidence supporting open QSP (oQSP).

As a supporter of open science and oQSP, MetrumRG is driven by the goals of improving health and defeating disease, particularly where there are unmet needs.

Additional details for the October QSP Symposium in Buffalo are available online at:

Topics: Open Science

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