Web Seminar on Systems Biology: New Approaches, New Tools

Posted by – November 5, 2008

A 90-minute webinar (web seminar) on Systems Biology as a “new approach” in solving today’s health problems — includes summary of what systems biology is, how it is emerging as a current technology, and methods for addressing “systems medicine”.

Systems Biology: New Approaches, New Tools and Implications for Human Health Care

The original event was broadcast on:
Date: Thursday, October 30, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM EDT
Duration: 90-minutes


Presentation is performed by the Institute for Systems Biology.  Partially sponsored by Agilent Technologies.

My brief overview

Initial introduction includes overview of technical & market drivers, and convergence of science & technology to create the emerging field.

“P4” Medicine: predictive, preventive, participatory and personalized medicine.

What are the top revolutionary technologies today which will drive the next several years of research?

  • High throughput and inexpensive DNA sequencing
  • Using nanotechnology to measure proteins from small amounts of blood
  • Information technology

System Biology’s largest “unsolved problems”

  • Validated datasets are unavailable – the massive amount of data is not fully used and systems for analysis are not fully developed
    • Open-to-the-public databases for research information is very important

      • “it must be freely and publically available to all, including industry. […] Those publishing articles must take the extra step to continue improving the data after simply being published” – Akhilesh Pandey, M.D., Ph. D., Associate Professor, John Hopkins University
  • Proteomics is still in its infancy
  • Sharing data is difficult
  • Building blocks are still being built; building blocks means specific databases for specialized data
  • Drug industry develops many new drugs; “but what we really need is” to identify specific drug targets for specific diseases/conditions, for screening
  • Lack of qualified people working in the field
    • “Biologists have to take second major in an engineering science” — Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph. D., President, Institute for Systems Biology

A typical Proteomics and Metabolomics workflow

  • Reduce complexity – Fractionation (mRP/UV); immunodepletion; MRP, OGE; sample preparation for membrane proteins
  • Profiling differences – Profiling (ToF); glycan profiling; metabolite profiling; biomarker discovery
  • Identifying Compounds – Identification (IT, QToF); PTM; glycan ID; metabolite ID; biomarker discovery
  • Characterizing differences – Characterization (QToF); intact protein; de-novo sequencing; protein complexes; membrane proteins; metalloproteins
  • Targeted quantitation – Validation (QQQ); biomarker screening by MRM; metabolite screening (UV, GC/MS, QQQ, ToF, QToF, IT, CE-MS, ICP-MS)

Discussed web site links