Welcome to the
Fifth Summit on Systems Biology!
Reductionist science has yielded numerous insights into various mechanisms underlying the processes of aging, the control of lifespan, and the dynamics of age-related disease/decline in vitality. We now know many genes and related proteins that appear to control or to be connected with these processes. However, breaking apart an organism costs information about how the “whole” organism functions. Moreover, we know little about how complex systems of genes and proteins interact because we have broken the system apart to study the components. Over the past few years, there has been an increased use of systems biological tools and techniques to address putting the pieces of aging-related networks back together so that their network properties can be better understood. This approach will begin to allow researchers to understand the effects of multiple complex interactions in these aging-networks, thereby further advancing our understanding of how longevity, vitality, and aging-related diseases may be managed. While reductionist approaches are still important, systems biology methods, including complex systems theory, dynamical systems theory, network analysis, fractal dynamics, multi-level computational modeling and swarm theory, to name a few, can extract real information out of terabytes of data. Only in the past five years have we begun to see the power of these methods. Nonlinear systems theory and multi-fractal analysis has been used to understand fall safety in elders and wandering in Alzheimer patients. Network analysis has been used to construct longevity gene-protein networks and to predict potential gene targets of importance to longevity and perhaps to pharmacological intervention. Systems biology is now emerging as a powerful paradigm for understanding networks of longevity genes and proteins
With the sequencing of the human genome, massive amounts of data have been generated by the “omics” disciplines over the past twenty years; including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, and interactomics, to name a few. However, the promise of sequencing the human genome is yet to be realized. The application of the pantheon of mathematical and computational tools of systems biology has the potential to help transform the massive amounts of data into useful information that can be used to understand the biomedical processes associated with human disease and potentially how they relate to the dynamics of aging. By identifying the critical networks and pathways associated with specific diseases of age and with vitality and longevity, greater understanding of these biological processes can be achieved. This enhanced understanding can help biomedical researchers design new and better approaches to treat or to manage the diseases of age and to help develop strategies to promote enhanced vitality and longevity, what is currently known as healthspan. As the “baby boomers” move into their sixties, increased demand for care for the diseases of age and for approaches to enhance vitality and promote longevity means that new and improved remedies and interventions will be required. Consequently, a systems approach to the study of aging and its processes offers promise as a means of attaining significant gains in the management and treatment of age related diseases.
Program Sessions include:
- I The Biology of Aging in Research Organisms
- II Systems Biology and Biological Networks for Biologists
- III General Session
- IV Evening Poster Session
- V Systems Biology of Aging: Focus on Science
- VI From Yeast to Humans - Where Do We Go from Here?
We hope to see you there!