Dear readers, The audience for this blog is very widely distributed but this post is very geographically specific in that it discusses my interest in starting a cheminformatics discussion group in the Research Triangle. I am thinking that we could have a meeting initially every quarter and, if there was sufficient interest, we could increase the frequency. There are a number of people involved with cheminformatics in the area and, while I get to see a number of them on a fairly regular basis, it is rarely as a collective group and that is when some of the magic of collaborative thought happens – when a discussion between two parties triggers another person into commenting and the conversation that ensues can go in very interesting directions. I’ve been involved in many such conversations!
In the Triangle we have lots of people involved in cheminformatics and what I would call “advanced data handling” associated with chemistry. We have the universities in the area (Duke, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, etc.), we have many companies using cheminformatics (GSK, BASF, Metabolon, to name just three) and government labs such as the EPA and NIEHS dealing with some of the complexities of managing chemistry related data. So, why not bring us together and share experiences, best practices and, even, data! We are also not so far from the government labs in Washington where there are enormous investments in cheminformatics and bioinformatics and we could invite in guest speakers to come and tell us about some of the work they are doing.
Of course, there is no point in throwing a party if no one would show up so this initial blog post is to see whether there is interest in attending a cheminformatics discussion group. The logistics of when, where it would be hosted, how long etc. will be defined once interest is defined.
Because community grows from participation please DO comment on this blog as to whether you would be interested in showing up. The more people that indicate interest the greater the chance that more people would choose to participate. So, simply add a comment, with your name and institutional name, that you would be interested in attending. Also, please pass on the link to this blog post to others and lets see if we can organize ourselves into a community of participation!