Topic: Systems Medicine and the Emergence of P4 Medicine
Distinguished Speaker: Dr. Leroy Hood
Abstract: The challenge for biology 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. 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. Hence, the challenge in understanding biological complexity is that of deciphering the operation of dynamic biological networks across the three time scales of life — evolution, development and physiological responses.
Systems approaches to biology are focused on delineating and deciphering dynamic biological networks and their interactions with simple and complex molecular machines. I will focus on our efforts at a systems approach to disease — looking at prion disease and liver toxicity in mice. We have published a study on prion disease that has taken more than five 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 also discuss our studies on two types of liver toxicity in mice.
It appears that systems medicine, together with pioneering changes such as next-generation DNA sequencing and blood protein measurements (nanotechnology), and as well as the development of powerful new computational and mathematical tools will transform medicine over the next five to 20 years from its currently reactive state to a mode that is predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory (P4).
Bio: Leroy Hood, MD, PhD, is a pioneer in systems approaches to biology and medicine. His research has focused on the study of molecular immunology, biotechnology and genomics. Dr. Hood’s professional career began at Caltech, where he and his colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer and the protein synthesizer and sequencer — four instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping of the human genome and lead to his receiving this year’s prestigious Russ Prize, awarded by the Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Hood is President and Co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington.