Genetic Networks and Biomarkers

The post-genomic research based on large cohorts of preclinical studies have produced multi-dimensional genetic and transcriptomic data sets. The revelation of the molecular pathways and cellular networks associated with various diseases may promote the systems biology studies of the onset and progression of diseases. Such understanding based on genetic networks and systems biology may provide the key support for improving drug discovery and development (Wierling et al. 2015).

The detections of drug responses may also improve the results of pharmacological therapies for different disease phenotypes. Technically, the approaches of high-throughput (HTP) DNA genotyping and genome-wide expression profiling would help with the discovery of biomarkers of disease onset and development (Wang et al. 2013).

With more understanding in drug pharmacodynamics, such discoveries would also enable the findings of novel drug targets. In addition, the predictive biomarkers would be useful for choosing the patient subgroups with the optimal drug responses for individualized therapies.


Wang IM, Stone DJ, Nickle D, Loboda A, Puig O, Roberts C. Systems biology approach for new target and biomarker identification. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2013;363:169 99. doi: 10.1007/82_2012_252.

Wierling C, Kessler T, Ogilvie LA, Lange BM, Yaspo ML, Lehrach H. Network and systems biology: essential steps in virtualising drug discovery and development. Drug Discov Today Technol. 2015 Aug;15:33-40. doi: 10.1016/j.ddtec.2015.07.002.

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