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Seattle BioMed Announces Major Scientific Expansion, New Addition to Leadership
Date:3/14/2011

nity. "Over the past decade, ISB scientists have established systems biology as a powerful approach to study biology. Now we can both apply what we have learned to global health and use the unique challenges of infectious disease research to drive new developments in systems biology."  

Intersection of Systems Biology and Infectious Disease ResearchAccording to Stuart, bringing Aderem, Aitchison and their research staffs on board to apply this transformative approach to Seattle BioMed's research will result in further expansion on many fronts. "The addition of new expertise, technologies and new research programs will create interdisciplinary scientific teams to explore the interface between pathogens and the humans that they infect," he said. "We can more deeply understand the biological mechanisms and processes at the level of complexity at which they exist in the pathogens and their hosts. This enables us to gain new knowledge at a faster rate by taking a more comprehensive approach, which is what systems biology entails."

Systems biology is a comprehensive approach to understanding the network of biological processes that influence how pathogens function and how people recover from – or succumb to – disease. Markedly different from the study of single genes or proteins, the systems biology approach, which is founded on genomics, was developed using model systems and a wide range of high-tech and computational tools is designed to enable researchers to predict the behavior of complex biological systems.

Stuart offered an analogy for the systems biology approach to understanding disease. "Imagine trying to comprehend how a car works by looking only at the tires," he explained. "Then think about how much better you can understand how a car performs by studying all the parts and how they work together."

Funding for the first phase of Seattle BioMed's scientific expansion comes from a $7 million grant from the Bill &a
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SOURCE Seattle Biomedical Research Institute
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