Can Systems Biology Aid
Personalized Medication?

Linköping, Sweden, December 5-7, 2011

Systems biology is a rapidly growing field, which is centered around the usage of network-based analysis and mathematical modelling to more efficiently and correctly evaluate large and high-quality datasets from living systems. Systems biology is often claimed to be useful for medicine, in particular for personalized medication. In this workshop we will take a closer look at some areas where these applications are most promising. We will really focus on end-usage, which means that the intent is to get practicing medical doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and regulatory agencies to participate actively in the scientific discussions. The workshop lies over 3 days, and is structured around 5 different sessions, which will play out in the following way.


Morning: Hierarchical modelling
      Hierarchical models are models incorporating different levels of organisation in the same model, e.g. intra-cellular, cell-to-cell interactions and whole-organ dynamics. Such multi-level models are needed for realistic drug simulations, since drugs acts on the intracellular level, but the clinical outome should be assessed also on the whole-body level. In this session we will focus on examples from different biological systems and diseases, where such models have been developed. This session will also contain talks that at least partly are devoted to more technical details, such as software choices, numerical integration issues, etc.

Afternoon: Decision-support and clinical practice
      One of the main up-coming challenges of modern medicine is to more efficiently make use of modern measurement technologies to provide a decision-support systems for medical doctors when treating patients. In other words, measurements from the specific patient should be combined with e.g knowledge databases, network-based analysis, and/or mathematical models to more efficiently provide aid for the doctor in assessing a correct diagnosis, and to design a personalized treatment. In this session we will discuss these challenges, and have a look at promising systems biology methodologies and showcases.


Morning: Diabetes
      Diabetes Mellitus, and especially type 2 diabetes (T2D), is one of our most costly and rapidly spreading diseases. T2D is a multi-level disease, with e.g. insulin resistance occuring both within individual cells, and manifesting on the whole-body level. In this session we will look at examples where models of intra-cellular dynamics have been combined with whole-body glucose homeostasis, at existing organ models that are close to being capable of being included in whole-body models, and at recent developments at the whole-body level itself. The latter will include the bridging of glucose homeostasis with lipid homeostasis, and modelling with the aim of aiding medical doctors. The session comprises both medical doctors and physiologists, cell biologists experts on different organs, measurement technology experts, mathematical modellers, and pharmaceutical companies.

Afternoon: Heart including atherosclerosis
      The heart is one of the most widely modelled organs, e.g. due to its importance in cardiovascular diseases and pharmaceutical risk assessment. In this session we will look at both models for intracellular dynamics, concerning for instance electrophysiology or cardiac beta adrenergic receptor signalling, and its linking to whole-organ and bio-mechanical modelling. We will also deal with diseaeses such as artherosclerosis, which is a common complication of T2D and thus links up with the previous session, and with handling and analysis of large knowledge databases. Also this session is for and by both medical doctors and physiologists, mathematical modellers, and pharmaceutical companies.


Morning: Liver diseases
      The liver is an incredibly important, versatile, but also complex organ, involved in everything from drug-metabolism, glucose homeostasis, to diffuse liver disease, and liver cancer. In this session we will focus primarily on the two latter, and we will e.g. discuss ways to circumvent invasive diagnosis methods like liver biopsies. The idea then is to combine a wide variety of other non-invasive data, such as blood samples, contrast agent MR-images, disease history, etc, into a combined database which is analysed using systems biology tools such as mathematical modeling and a Bayesian decision-support systems. This session is for and by medical doctors, physiologists, radiologists, surgeons, image analyses experts, Bayesianists and mathematical modelers.

You can view the schedule in its entiry here

If you have questions or are interested in coming, sign-up by writing an email to gunnar.cedersund "at" Note that space is limited to ~40 people.