Design of a Website and Signaling Map Template Acting as a Database Interface and Providing a Visual Explanation of Cellular Signaling Networks an Their Operative Components
The intention of this thesis is to document and describe the design of a website and signaling map template wherein the maps are standardized, expandable in detail, and act as a database interface while providing a visual explanation of cellular signaling networks and their operative components. This template was designed to provide scientific researchers in the cell signaling community with a unique method of presenting cell signaling networks (maps) within the web-based environment that can be used by persons with little web design experience. It was further designed to offer the scientific community a new way to access cell signaling network (map) information which provides the viewer/researcher multiple levels of map detail, consistent map formats, and a map interface that taps into a large database with information on specific molecules and isoforms, narratives related to biochemical and dynamic processes, references, illustrations, animations, or other information which the webpage author may feel relevant to the specific network. For this thesis, development of the website and a set of sample pages with maps on chemotaxis were constructed for the Alliance for Cellular Signaling (AfCS). A manual was written and assembled for use by key AfCS members to use the template and thus expand the Signaling Maps pages of the AfCS website, and the sample pages from this thesis project were posted online for members to view and evaluate. This thesis explores the needs of the cell signaling community and the AfCS, discusses the unique environment of the internet as a medium for displaying and sharing cell signaling pathway information, and documents the research, creative process, and discovery that went into the creation of the template and sample web pages.