Dr. Leroy Hood with the Institute of Systems Biology will focus on their efforts at taking a systems approach to diseases—looking at a neurodegenerative (prion) disease, PTSD and a brain tumor (glioblastoma) in mice and humans. The mouse models allows them to analyze the initiation and progression of these diseases dynamically—enabling them to building models that reflect the pathophysiology of the disease. They have also taken a systems approach to blood diagnostics and have generated powerful diagnostic markers for the first two of these diseases.
He will then discuss the emerging technologies that will transform biology and medicine over the next 10 years—e.g., next generation DNA sequencing and its applications to human genome sequencing, targeted mass spectrometry, microfluidic protein chips, new approaches to protein-capture agents, single-cell analyses and the use of induced pluripotential (iPS) cells to enlighten our understand of development, disease mechanisms and disease stratification.
Three converging opportunities—systems medicine, big data and patient-activated social networks—will lead to a proactive P4 medicine that is predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory (P4). Dr. Hood will describe the nature of P4 medicine and its societal implications for healthcare, and briefly mention some of the strategic partnerships that the Institute of Systems Biology has developed to bring P4 medicine to patients.
Dr. Hood is a pioneer in the systems approach to biology and medicine. His research has focused on the study of molecular immunology, biotechnology and genomics. Dr. Hood’s professional career began at Caltech, where he and his colleagues developed the DNA gene sequencer and synthesizer and the protein synthesizer and sequencer––four instruments that paved the way for the successful mapping of the human genome. A pillar in the biotechnology field, Dr. Hood has played a role in founding more than fourteen biotechnology companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Darwin, The Accelerator and Integrated Diagnostics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Of the 6,000+ scientists world-wide who belong to one or more of these academies, Dr. Hood is one of only fifteen people accepted to all three. He is also a member of the American Philosophical Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His work has been widely published, and he has coauthored numerous textbooks in biochemistry, immunology, molecular biology and genetics, as well as a popular book on the human genome project, The Code of Codes. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lasker Award for Studies of Immune Diversity, the Kyoto Prize in advanced technology, the Heinz Award for pioneering work in Systems Biology, and most recently, the coveted NAE 2011 Fritz J. and Delores H. Russ Prize for automating DNA sequencing that revolutionized biomedicine and forensic science. In addition to having received 17 honorary degrees from prestigious universities in the US and abroad, Dr. Hood has published more than 700 peer reviewed articles and currently holds 36 patents.
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