In October 2010 the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) was started to collect and analyze data on the biochemistry and phenotypes of human cells exposed to perturbing agents. Cancer cell lines and non-transformed primary cultures are an area of focus as are clinical-grade small molecule kinase inhibitors. The Center aims to provide a generally useful set of data along with network-level models of these data. The Center also develops metadata standards for biochemical and image-based assays and new algorithms for large-scale analysis of drug response.
The HMS LINCS Center has demonstrated that it is possible to obtain unique insight into the ways cells respond to perturbation by combining proteomic, imaging and genomic measurements of cell state. To accomplish this, and to make the underlying data and models publically available, the Center has collected multi-dimensional response measurements, acquired and organized information on the poly-pharmacology of clinically important perturbagens (small molecule drugs), and developed and deployed new standards and informatic systems to organize complex datasets. Relevant disease areas include cancer, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and mitochondrial diseases, but our approaches and data are broadly applicable to many diseases.