A network biology approach to novel therapeutic strategies

This keynote lecture was given during the ECCB'14 conference, Monday, September 8, 2014, Palais de la Musique et des Congrès, Strasbourg, France. Professor Patrick Aloy was introduced by Dr. Dave Ritchie, Inria Research Director, Nancy, France.

High-throughput interaction discovery initiatives are providing thousands of novel protein interactions, which are unveiling many unexpected links between apparently unrelated biological processes. In particular, analyses of the first draft human interactomes highlight a strong association between protein network connectivity and disease. Indeed, recent exciting studies have exploited the information contained within protein networks to disclose some of the molecular mechanisms underlying complex pathological processes. These findings suggest that both protein-protein interactions and the networks themselves could emerge as a new class of targetable entities, boosting the quest for novel therapeutic strategies. In this talk, I will summarize our work towards the characterization and modelling of the protein-interaction network underlying Alzheimer¬īs disease and breast cancer, together with our most recent attempts to decipher complex cell networks to the point of being able to predict how the perturbation of a node might affect the system as a whole.


Patrick Aloy

Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona, Spain 
ICREA Research Professor 

Bio: Born in Barcelona in 1972. He obtained his BSc in Biochemistry (1996), MSc in Biotechnology (1998) and PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (2000) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He then joined the Structural Bioinformatics Group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (2001) where he did his postdoctoral training. Since April 2006, Patrick Aloy is an ICREA Research Professor and Principal Investigator of the Structural Bioinformatics Lab in the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). For fifteen years, Dr Aloy has been developing and implementing new technologies and algorithms, applying state-of-the-art methods to specific problems and bridging the gap between theoretical models and experiments in different disciplines. Nowadays, the main goal of the SB&NB lab is to combine computational and structural biology with interaction discovery experiments to unveil the basic wiring architecture of physio-pathological pathways. It is our believe that a deeper knowledge of the global topology of interactome networks related to human disease will have important bearings in the discovery of new drug targets and biomarkers, optimization of preclinical models and understanding how biological networks change from the healthy state to disease.

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