Exploring Systems Approaches to Understand Molecular Networks in Health and Disease

Clay Marsh
Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University

(October 19, 2009 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM)

Exploring Systems Approaches to Understand Molecular Networks in Health and Disease

Abstract

A number of human diseases do not have a known cause and lack effective treatment. One of such diseases is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive scarring disease of the lung without known cause or pharmacological treatment. To date, the only effective treatment is lung transplantation and the mean time of survival from diagnosis is 5 years. We have taken a systems- and discovery-based approach to identify key regulatory networks and targets in the lungs of people with this disorder and have correlated these network changes with progression of lung function testing abnormalities. We have taken advantage of the observation that in gene networks, microRNA are identified as potential regulators of hubs. We will explore the regulation of microRNAs in IPF and discuss how changes in these microRNA may serve as a key regulatory role in the human disease. In this presentation, we will also discuss scale free networks and provide new insights into the mechanisms and potential treatment of this disorder. Our goal is to create platform approaches that can be applied to human health and disease.