Mapping Biology and Health, Medicine and Wellness of the 21st century
World health players are confronted with major challenges: the persistent threat from infectious diseases, the emergence of new pathogens, the increasing prevalence of cancers and chronic diseases, and the limits of traditional treatments.
Despite spectacular progress in molecular biology, our knowledge of mechanisms underlying the development of diseases remains limited. At the same time, increased life expectancy has led to an uncontrolled explosion of healthcare expenditure. The pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry is thus struggling to bring innovative and cost-effective treatments to the market and society for the benefit of populations in developped and developing countries.
Recent years have seen the fast rise of systems biology, the next major step forward in biological research after the deciphering of the human genome. Systems biology represents a groundbreaking approach to overcome the current limitations of disease complexity and drug discovery. The development of systems biology has laid the foundation for a prospective medicine that combines participatory prevention with personalized prediction (P4-Medicine). Medicine and healthcare are thus undergoing a transition from a reactive to a proactive mode focusing on wellness rather than on disease.
The European Institute for Systems Biology & Medicine Projects Team aims to speed up the transfer of results obtained through systems biology approaches to industry and to routine patient care. It is doing so by:
- Studying life complexity through a trans-disciplinary approach
Systems biology approaches will lead to deeper insights into the mechanisms of human diseases, enabling a more effective drug development process. New treatments will be adapted to the genetic make-up, food habits and health record of each individual through personalized diagnosis and follow-up.
- Advancing research today to heal better tomorrow
Research programmes involving the EISBM Projects team and partners have already led to significant progress, and opened new opportunities for therapy and diagnostics on the booming market of personalized medicine and healthcare.
- Boosting Europe ambition to serve global public health
In close collaboration with the Lyonbiopole world-class competitiveness cluster, with support from the European Union, the EISBM Projects Team is fostering academy/industry partnerships during all phases of drug discovery, increasing regional, national and European competitiveness in the fields of infectious, non-communicable chronic diseases and cancers. This will play an important role in strengthening the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, while improving public health in developed and developing countries equally.
Understanding complex events such as human disease requires a global, integrative approach, which implies capturing heterogeneous data of many sources ranging from molecular profiles (e.g. transcriptomics, methylation, proteomics) up to phenotypes and environmental conditions through connected devices. Moreover, like all observations, most biological and medical data are biased and/or incomplete, which requires several steps of replication, verification and validation.
To address the current biological and medical questions such as the identification of disease subtypes (patient stratification), biomarkers and drug targets, the EISBM Projects Team is developping an iterative approach integrating:
- different network layers of various nature into multiplex networks,
- linear, non-linear, and network-based data analysis,
- model prediction and hypothesis generation with experimental validation,
- all available domain expert knowledge into human and machine-readable computerized disease maps.
The high reliability and accuracy of the EISBM Projects Team approach is grounded on the implementation of expert processes that ensure a very high quality of the data, their annotation and interpretation.