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Your Environment. Your Health.

Pre-workshop Events

Catalyzing Knowledge-Driven Discovery in Environmental Health Sciences Through a Harmonized Language

Several pre-workshop events will be held to provide background information and facilitate productive discussions for the September 9-10 workshop on Catalyzing Knowledge-Driven Discovery in Environmental Health Sciences through a Harmonized Language.

Virtual Pre-workshop: The Value of Creating Language and Community in Catalyzing Knowledge-Driven Discovery in Environmental Health Research

June 24, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT


The goal of this workshop is to provide attendees with the context for embarking on this community initiative to develop and adopt a harmonized EHS language and to lay the foundation for how the community can come together.


1:00 p.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Welcome: Stephanie Holmgren, M.S.L.S., MBA, NIEHS
Opening Remarks: Rick Woychik, Ph.D., NIEHS

1:10 p.m.

Background on Creating the Environmental Health Language Collaborative
Charles Schmitt, Ph.D., NIEHS

1:20 p.m.

Session: The Value of Applying Harmonized Language to EHS Research
Examples of how applying language standards advances discovery in environmental health sciences research.
(15 minutes per presentation, including Q&A)

Ontology-driven approaches to adverse outcome pathway development and use
Stephen Edwards, Ph.D., RTI International

Linking data from laboratory and field investigations of mercury transformation, bioaccumulation, and remediation
Celia Chen, Ph.D., Dartmouth

KG-COVID 19: Machine learning on knowledge graphs and ontologies
Justin Reese, Ph.D., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Advancing environmental health research using common vocabularies within the HHEAR Data Center
Jeanette Stingone, Ph.D., Columbia University

2:20 p.m.


2:30 p.m.

The Value of a Community Coming Together
Accomplishments and lessons learned from how other community standards efforts have come together to achieve their goals.
(15 minutes per presentation, including Q&A)

The communities behind the founding and growth of the Gene Ontology Consortium
Paul D. Thomas, Ph.D., University of Southern California

Building semantic standards in a global community: experiences from GA4GH
Melanie Courtot, Ph.D., EMBL-EBI

Community building under the Research Data Alliance umbrella
Anne E. Thessen, Ph.D., University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

3:15 p.m.

Background and Discussion: Environmental Health Language Collaborative
Opportunity for members of the EHS community to provide input on the mission, objectives, and organizational model for the proposed Environmental Health Language Collaborative.
Stephanie Holmgren, M.S.L.S., MBA, NIEHS

3:55 p.m.



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Virtual Pre-workshop: A Primer on Using Terminologies, Vocabularies, and Ontologies for Knowledge Organization

July 20, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT


The goal of this workshop is to provide attendees with sufficient starting knowledge to understand the different knowledge organization systems (especially ontologies), when to use them, where to find them, and how to apply them.


What is an Ontology?
Overview of different knowledge organization systems (taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies), where to find ontologies, and how to use them.

Relevant Ontologies for EHS
An overview of key ontologies and terminologies useful for environmental health sciences research.

Hands-On: Applying an Ontology in Practice
Participants will be guided through an example of how to find and apply an ontology as well as what to do when a term is not found. 

Participant Discussion
Q&A based on participants’ hands-on experience.


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