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Partnering with ISB
ISB has a long history of establishing strategic partnerships to tackle big challenges.
Revolutionize science with a powerful systems approach to predict and prevent disease, and enable a sustainable environment.
Develop a systems approach to characterize, predict, and manipulate state transitions in biological systems. By studying similar phenomena across diverse biological systems – from microbes to humans – we will leverage varying expertise, ideas, resources and opportunities to develop a unified systems biology framework.
We seek to elucidate the mechanistic underpinnings of state transitions and tipping points through multiscale characterizations of networks within model systems (organisms and communities).
Biological systems exist in a quasi-stable state that can evolve and adapt to environmental change, yet they are sufficiently robust to withstand stressful conditions and antagonistic interactions. Critical transitions across states and tipping points lay at the heart of most complex problems in modern biology, including reversible physiological adaptation to environmental change, evolution of interactions in the microbial loop, development of an adult body plan from an embryo, differentiation of a stem cell, and transition from health to disease. Characterizing warning signals before a tipping point is encountered is essential to develop early presymptomatic diagnostics for complex diseases. Finding the causal molecular mechanisms responsible for such transitions in turn will provide the strategies for prevention, intervention and reversal of disease. These concepts of diagnosis and intervention are also relevant for environmental issues as they will provide tools for better ecosystem monitoring, remediation and sustainable biotechnological solutions.
ISB has employed systems-driven approaches to disease to pioneer the concept of P4 Medicine (Personalized, Predictive, Preventive and Participatory), which differs profoundly from more traditional evidence-based medicine. It is proactive rather than reactive, focuses on the individual patient, emphasizes wellness, and will create a virtual cloud of billions of health data points for each person that can be reduced to simple models about how to optimize wellness and minimize disease.
Our climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, potentially jeopardizing the web of life processes that keep our planet alive. We need to understand, predict and responsibly remedy such challenges, and systems biology is the key to unlocking the mysteries of environmental complexity.