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Systems Medicine: Sketching the Landscape

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Systems Medicine

Part of the book series: Methods in Molecular Biology ((MIMB,volume 1386))

Abstract

To understand the meaning of the term Systems Medicine and to distinguish it from seemingly related other expressions currently in use, such as precision, personalized, -omics, or big data medicine, its underlying history and development into present time needs to be highlighted. Having this development in mind, it becomes evident that Systems Medicine is a genuine concept as well as a novel way of tackling the manifold complexity that occurs in nowadays clinical medicine—and not just a rebranding of what has previously been done in the past. So looking back it seems clear to many in the field that Systems Medicine has its origin in an integrative method to unravel biocomplexity, namely, Systems Biology. Here scientist by now gained useful experience that is on the verge toward implementation in clinical research and practice.

Systems Medicine and Systems Biology have the same underlying theoretical principle in systems-based thinking—a methodology to understand complexity that can be traced back to ancient Greece. During the last decade, however, and due to a rapid methodological development in the life sciences and computing/IT technologies, Systems Biology has evolved from a scientific concept into an independent discipline most competent to tackle key questions of biocomplexity—with the potential to transform medicine and how it will be practiced in the future. To understand this process in more detail, the following section will thus give a short summary of the foundation of systems-based thinking and the different developmental stages including systems theory, the development of modern Systems Biology, and its transition into clinical practice. These are the components to pave the way toward Systems Medicine.

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Correspondence to Marc Kirschner .

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Kirschner, M. (2016). Systems Medicine: Sketching the Landscape. In: Schmitz, U., Wolkenhauer, O. (eds) Systems Medicine. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1386. Humana Press, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-3283-2_1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-3283-2_1

  • Publisher Name: Humana Press, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4939-3282-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4939-3283-2

  • eBook Packages: Springer Protocols

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