APRIL 18-21, 2017
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BioLinker: Bottom-up Exploration of Protein Interaction Networks

  • Tommy Dang
    Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, United States
  • Paul Murray
    University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Angus Forbes
    University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States


Systems biologists and cancer researchers require interactive visualization tools that enable them to more easily navigate and discover patterns at different levels of the biological hierarchy of signaling pathways. Furthermore, biologists are often interested in understanding and exploring the causal biochemical links between processes. When exploring the literature of particular biological pathways or specific proteins within those pathways, biologists find it useful to know the contexts in which biochemical links are active and, importantly, to be aware of potential conflicts when different experiments introduce alternative interpretations of the function of a pathway or biochemical reaction. We introduce BioLinker, a interactive visualization system that helps users to perform bottom-up exploration of complex protein interaction networks. Five interconnected views provide the user with a range of ways to explore pathway data, including views that show potential conflicts within pathway databases and publications and that highlight contextual information about individual proteins. Additionally, we discuss system details to show how our system manages the large amount of protein interactions extracted from the literature of biological pathways.