ICT For Life Sciences Forum

Systems and Technological Challenges to Personalized Medicine

Monday 2 April 2012

Personalized medicine aims to tailor medical treatment at individual patients based on genetic, biochemical or physiological information.
The variability between individual patients has long been recognized as one of the challenges of modern medicine and pharmacology.

Pharamagenomics in particular has highlighted the problems deriving from the stratification of the patient population, and we now know of numerous polymorphisms in the human genome that underly variable drug response phenotypes. But despite the wealth of data that has been generated over the past decade, progress towards indivualized therapies has been painfully slow.

Our presenter, Professor Stumpf will argue that we have to go beyond the sequence level in order to deliver customized healthcare to individuals. He will review some of the challenges that need to be confronted, and then outline how recent advances in technology and systems biology are now allowing us to gain better understanding of disease mechanisms and drug action. In particular he will discuss how we can make use of emerging molecular, systems and computational approaches and technologies to gain better insights into disease aetiology (in particular for leukaemias and multiple myeloma), improve diagnostics and develop individualized therapies.

Professor Michael Stumpf works on a range of topics in theoretical and statistical systems biology, systems medicine, statistical bioinformatics, dynamical systems and networks, and evolutionary theory. His main interests are all related to reverse engineering the structure, dynamics and evolutionary history of biological systems, in particular those processes which enable cells to respond to and interact with their environment. Biological and biomedical applications include host-pathogen interactions, cellular decision making processes in eukaryotic cells, the systems analysis of haematological disorders, and the analysis and design of microbial systems in synthetic biology.

Professor Stumpf originally studied theoretical physics in Tubingen, Gottingen and Oxford, completing his DPhil here in Statistical Physics. Upon completion, he moved straight into biology and spent three years as a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellow in Mathematical Biology in the Department of Zoology at Oxford. In 2002 he took up a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship and moved to the Department of Biology UCL in London.

Since 2003 he has been based at the Centre for Bioinformatics at Imperial College London.

 

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