The Phenotype Foundation mission is to empower scientists, within various communities of practice, with standardized software and knowledge stores to store, manage, and retrieve information and data on genotypes and phenotypes.

Achieving this mission requires the completion of four complimentary aims:

    1. Include the existing study database initiatives.


    1. Identify, recruit, and organize appropriate scientists into communities of practice who will benefit from the development and use of standardized knowledge stores and software for the purposes of characterizing phenotypes from studies.


    1. Utilize the knowledge and expertise of these identified scientists to guide the design and development of the software and knowledge repositories capable of assisting in the characterization of phenotypes.


  1. Structure and create the necessary databases and software the programming.

We have identified critical initial and continuing requirements that will be addressed by the Phenotype Foundation:

    • A governance and decision-making structure for community commodities (i.e. the data and databases);
    •  A Scientific Advisory Board to enumerate and characterize the scientific priorities and needs of the Phenotype Foundation;
    • A Technical Advisory Board, to guide the dbXP platform hosting decisions, as well as design and development trajectories;
    • Neutral and sustainable ownership of code, trademarks and domains for all dbXP software and databases;
    • Be a representative entity for the promotion and use of dbXP software and database structure;
    • Initiate, guide, and interact with relevant bioinformatics and database owning organisations;
    • Ensure continuous hosting and maintenance of all public dbXP databases;
    • Raise funds to support the above activities.


    • The Phenotype Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors (BOD) to be elected every two years with two being elected in any given year.
    •  The BOD shall be comprised of seven Foundation members with at least one member representing the Technical Advisory Board, and at least one member representing the Scientific Advisory Board.
    • The Board of Directors will meet at least twice per year.
    •  Scientific and Technical Advisory Boards will each meet at least every month
    • The main tasks of the Board of Directors are to define, refine and implement the strategy of the Foundation as mentioned above, and specifically to set and update the roadmap for dbXP software development that is carried out by the Programmers Community.


    • Membership of the Foundation is open to everyone who shows active participation in dbXP (e.g. uploading of data, programming of modules, acquirement of funding).
    • Membership applications are decided upon by current Foundation members
    • The Members of the Foundation elect their Board every two years.

The Clean Transcriptomics Database is a module of the Nutritional Phenotype Database (dbNP). The development of this module is funded by NuGO and built by Wageningen University & Research Centre. It aims at a centralized storage of transcriptomics data, that is queryable via the dbNP query module, and has its accompanying study metadata stored in the dbNP study capture module (GSCF, see under).

It complies with the ‘dbNP omics submodule’ standard by serving clean data via the dbNP clean data layer.

Click here for source code


Apache 2.0

The metagenomics module, attached to GSCF, stores genetic sequencing data derived from environmental samples, such as bacteria.

The metagenomics module is developed in the ANTIRESDEV project, which receives funding from EU FP7. Among others, its aim is to gain knowledge of the dynamics of resistance emergence at a variety of body sites during the administration of a range of antibiotics frequently used in Europe.

Click here for source code

Click here for poster


Apache 2.0

The metabolomics module functions as a repository of metabolomics data, facilitating storage of raw and processed metabolomics data and study information, which can be searched and queried.

This module is part of the NMC DSP, a data support platform for metabolomics studies built by Netherlands Metabolomics Centre (NMC), to support storage of experimental metabolomics data, and their processing. This bioinformatics support platform will provide a means for communication between the partners of the NMC for the exchange of data, software, and tools. (See also our portfolio.)

Click here for source code

Click here for the Metabolomics User Guide (PDF)



The Nutritional Phenotype project (dbNP) is an open source ecosystem for multi-omics databases. One of the modules of dbNP is the Simple assay module (SAM), in which it is easy to import bulk numerical data from e.g. Excel files. It is used to store clinical data, such as Rules Based Medicine assays, but also physical measurements such as body weight of mice. Continue reading

Kees van Bochove owns a company dedicated to the support and facilitation of sustainable open source bioinformatics software development (The Hyve). As technical project manager of the global dbNP open source initiative, he leads the development of several Phenotype Foundation software projects. Also, Kees is metabolomics taskforce leader in the NBIC Central Engineering Team and technical project manager of the Data Support Platform project of the NMC. Kees holds bachelor’s degrees in computer science and in primary education, and a master’s degree in bioinformatics, for which he did his research project on lipoprotein metabolism at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston.

Ohloh profile for keesvanbochove

Scientist at TNO

Jildau Bouwman (born in Heemskerk, The Netherlands in 1976, PhD in 2006 at VU University, in The Netherlands) is a molecular biologist who has used informatics in biological research were needed. She has done research in several organisms (mouse, yeast and human), with a focus on omics technologies (transcriptomics and metabolomics). Working on the IOP project ‘Vertical genomics’ at the VU University made her aware that linking different information sources is essential to be able to perform systems biology. She is one of the driving forces behind the phenotype application and principle investigator in the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre Data support platform.
Since 2008 she is working at TNO in the group of Microbiology and Systems Biology and is theme leader knowledge basing. She is involved in several European projects that are performing systems biology studies (Food4me, Eurreca, NuAge).