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NJIT professor finds engineering technique to identify disease-causing genes
Date:10/28/2008

ating the vulnerability levels of all molecules in a network. Using a computer, they analyzed the vulnerability of several signaling networks.

"We found few molecules with the highest vulnerability level," said Ali. "Nevertheless, we observed that if each of these molecules failed to function, the entire molecular network would not work." These critical molecules, he said, also held the key to better and more effective treatments. "By understanding their roles and functions better, we would be able to develop more effective treatments for complex disorders with such unknown molecular basis," Abdi said. "Many mental illnesses fall within this category."

Effat Emamian, MD, founder and CEO of Advanced Technologies for Novel Therapeutics, a start-up company in NJIT's business incubator, and Mehdi Tahoori, assistant professor at Northeastern University, contributed to the research.

"In the field of medical research, we face enormous challenges for finding the causes and curative treatments for complex human disorders" said Emamian, whose research focuses on mental disorders. "We believe that complex human disorders, such as cancer, different mental disorders and some neurodegenerative disorders, are not caused by a single gene but rather many. Our most important task is to figure out which genes are critical for disease development and which molecules are the most promising therapeutic targets."

Tahoori noted that it was exciting to see how circuit engineering research can contribute to finding the possible causes and treatments of complex human diseases. "Modeling a problem in a different domain and using tools, methods, and techniques available in the other modeling domain can lead to breakthrough solutions for the original problem," he said. "This is what cross-disciplinary research is all about."


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Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
sheryl.m.weinstein@njit.edu
973-596-3436
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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