BLACKSBURG, Va., November 11, 2005 –Harsha Karur Rajasimha, a software engineer at VBI, will speak at the BioPAX (Biological PAthway eXchange) workshop in Tokyo, Japan on November 17.

Rajasimha will discuss VBI’s Pathogen Portal (PathPort) project at the event. PathPort is a life sciences interoperability framework that provides access to biological characteristics of known pathogens and their near relatives, as well as tools to analyze and interpret this information. Specifically, his talk will focus on the MINet project, a part of PathPort that details the molecular and cellular pathways used during microbial pathogenesis.

Microbial pathogenesis involves all the processes pathogens use to cause disease in hosts. The interactions that occur during microbial pathogenesis are underrepresented in current bioinformatics systems, which may be because of the difficulty in integration of such diverse data. VBI’s PathPort group designed a Molecular Interaction Markup Language (MINetML) to serve as the pathogenesis data exchange format. The group has also developed an automatic visualization tool based on MINetML and integrated it into the PathPort system.

BioPAX is a collaborative effort to create a data exchange format for biological pathway data. The international meeting will consist of a one-day hackathon, two-day technical workshop, and one-day symposium featuring invited talks. Rajasimha’s travel and accommodation are funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the US Department of Energy. More information about the event can be found at

Published by Barry Whyte, November 10, 2005