Translational Bioinformatics in Psychoneuroimmunology: Methods and Applications

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Abstract

Translational bioinformatics plays an indispensable role in transforming psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) into personalized medicine. It provides a powerful method to bridge the gaps between various knowledge domains in PNI and systems biology. Translational bioinformatics methods at various systems levels can facilitate pattern recognition, and expedite and validate the discovery of systemic biomarkers to allow their incorporation into clinical trials and outcome assessments. Analysis of the correlations between genotypes and phenotypes including the behavioral-based profiles will contribute to the transition from the disease-based medicine to human-centered medicine. Translational bioinformatics would also enable the establishment of predictive models for patient responses to diseases, vaccines, and drugs. In PNI research, the development of systems biology models such as those of the neurons would play a critical role. Methods based on data integration, data mining, and knowledge representation are essential elements in building health information systems such as electronic health records and computerized decision support systems. Data integration of genes, pathophysiology, and behaviors are needed for a broad range of PNI studies. Knowledge discovery approaches such as network-based systems biology methods are valuable in studying the cross-talks among pathways in various brain regions involved in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.