Request for letter of support for HPO

Prof. Dr. Peter Robinson

Dear colleagues,

the HPO is planning to submit two NIH grant proposals to support our work and it would be extremely useful if members of this list could send us letters of support. I am now asking for support for our NHGRI U24 application (and will send another email in two weeks about a second proposal). The purpose of the U24 is to deepen the coverage of the HPO for more areas of medicine (e.g., neurology, immunology, pharmacogenomics,...). This will mean both adding new terms as well as new annotations (the annotations are the associations of HPO terms with diseases, e.g., here for Robinow syndrome:

We will be requesting support for additional biocuration staff and also will be developing a Web-based collaboration portal through which collaborators can submit new terms or annotation data.

It would be extremely helpful to get letters of support that say

<We strongly support your proposal>
<As you know, our group does X>
<Our group currently uses HPO to do Y>
<Your proposal to develop a Web-based collaboration portal is extremely useful to us. We would contribute terms and annotations for our area of expertise, namely ABC>
<anything else>

We are also planning to conduct in person workshops for areas of medicine that require substantial additional terms. For instance, in 2018 we had an ophthalmology workshop that resulted in over 500 new HPO terms for the eye. If you feel that your area would benefit from such a workshop, please contact me, and I will send you a separate template letter of support.

thanks a lot in advance, Peter (peter.robinson@...) and Melissa (melissa@...), and in name of Sebastian Köhler, and Chris Mungal

Here is an example letter:

January 00, 2020

Peter Robinson, MD, MS

Jackson Laboratory of Genomic Medicine

Melissa Haendel, PhD

Oregon State University

Dear Peter and Melissa,

I am very excited about your NHGRI application, “The Human Phenotype Ontology: Accelerating Computational Integration of Clinical Data for Genomics.” 

As you know, I have been an active <contributor/user> of the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) for many years. Specifically, our group leverages the HPO for <XXX>

We could not be more grateful for your longstanding efforts to help standardize phenotype data, and could not accomplish our goals of <YYY> without the HPO. 

The HPO has organized productive collaborative workshops with clinical groups such as ours, that have aimed to revise and extend entire areas of the HPO (for example, see The community then follows up with term requests, corrections, etc. by email and on our tracker.  We are delighted to hear about the new proposal to develop an online portal that will simplify our process of adding knowledge to the HPO database by allowing external collaborators such as ourselves to recommend annotations of HPO terms that describe a disease and then have the community and the HPO team be able to review and discuss them. We will be happy to add data and knowledge about <ADD YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE HERE>

In summary, would be delighted to continue to provide feedback to the HPO team in the future on the HPO, disease annotations, and algorithms and tools that you all have been so dedicated at advancing. 

With the best of luck on your proposal, 





Peter Robinson
Professor and Donald A. Roux Chair, Genomics and Computational Biology
The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine
860.837.2095 t | peter.robinson@... |
Peter Robinson

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