Event Abstract

A Systems Approach to Neurodegenerative Disease, Emerging Technologies and Proactive Medicine

  • 1 Institute for Systems Biology, United States

The challenge for biology and medicine in the 21st century is the need to deal with its incredible complexity. One powerful way to think of biology is to view it as an informational science requiring systems approaches. This view leads to the conclusion that biological information is captured, mined, integrated by biological networks and finally passed off to molecular machines for execution. Systems approaches are holistic rather than atomistic—and employ both hypothesis-driven as well as discovery-driven approaches. Hence the challenge in understanding biological complexity is that of using systems approaches to deciphering the operation of dynamic biological networks across three time scales of life—development, physiological and disease responses. I will focus on our efforts at a systems approach to neurodegenerative disease—looking at prion disease in mice. We have just published a study that has taken more than 5 years—that lays out the principles of a systems approach to disease including dealing with the striking signal to noise problems of high throughput biological measurements and biology itself (e.g. polymorphisms). I will discuss how we have integrated six different types of data to generate powerful predictive network models. I will also discuss the emerging technologies that will transform medicine over the next 10 years—including next generation DNA sequencing, microfluidic protein chips, single-cell analyses and the capacity to generate stem cells for each individual patient. It appears that systems medicine, together with these transformational technologies and the development of powerful new computational and mathematical tools will transform medicine over the next 5-20 years from its currently reactive state to a mode that is proactive (P4)—medicine that is predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory. P4 medicine will have striking implications for healthcare costs as well as leading to a transformation of the healthcare industry. I will also talk about ISB strategic partnerships that will permit us to bring P4 medicine to the patient.

Conference: Neuroinformatics 2010 , Kobe, Japan, 30 Aug - 1 Sep, 2010.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Topic: Keynote speakers

Citation: Hood L (2010). A Systems Approach to Neurodegenerative Disease, Emerging Technologies and Proactive Medicine. Front. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: Neuroinformatics 2010 . doi: 10.3389/conf.fnins.2010.13.00015

Received: 09 Jun 2010; Published Online: 09 Jun 2010.

* Correspondence: Lee Hood, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, United States, USA.lhood@systemsbiology.org

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