Chapter

Systems Biological Approaches in Infectious Diseases

Volume 64 of the series Progress in Drug Research pp 1-20

Systems biology and its impact on anti-infective drug development

  • Michael P. StumpfAffiliated withCentre for Integrative Systems Biology at Imperial College (CISBIC), Division of Molecular Biosciences, Imperial College London
  • , Brian D. RobertsonAffiliated withCentre for Integrative Systems Biology at Imperial College (CISBIC), Department of Molecular Microbiology and Infection, Imperial College London
  • , Ken DuncanAffiliated withCentre for Integrative Systems Biology at Imperial College (CISBIC), Department of Molecular Microbiology and Infection, Imperial College London
  • , Douglas B. YoungAffiliated withCentre for Integrative Systems Biology at Imperial College (CISBIC), Department of Molecular Microbiology and Infection, Imperial College London

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Abstract

Systems biology offers the potential for more effective selection of novel targets for anti-infective drugs. In contrast to conventional reductionist biology, a systems approach allows targets to be viewed in a wider context of the entire physiology of the cell, with the potential to identify key susceptible nodes and to predict synergistic effects of blocking multiple pathways. In addition to the holistic perspective provided by systems biology, the emphasis on quantitative analysis is likely to add further rigour to the process of target selection. Systems biology also offers the potential to incorporate different levels of information into the selection process. Consideration of data from microbial population biology may be important in the context of predicting future drug-resistance profiles associated with targeting a particular pathway, for example. This chapter provides an overview of major themes in the developing field of systems biology, summarising the core technologies and the strategies used to translate datasets into useful quantitative models capable of predicting complex biological behaviour.

Keywords

imaging integrative systems biology mathematical models metabolic networks protein interaction network targets for anti-infective drugs transciptional networks