The Center for Systems Biomedicine is interested in understanding how inflammatory molecular circuits contribute to the development of human inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and gastrointestinal cancers. Furthermore, Dr. Iliopoulos' laboratory is interested in identifying novel therapeutic strategies against these inflammatory diseases. His strategy would be to integrating high throughput molecular data into networks and identify the chemical compounds that target these networks.
With the establishment of the new Center for Gastrointestinal Systems Biology (CGSB), UCLA has instituted a new paradigm for the rapid identification of new therapeutic agents to treat gastrointestinal diseases. This center will be the first GI-focused systems biology center in the world and will employ the latest highly automated technology to extract data from
a large number of patient tissue samples in an effort to identify treatments from a large collection of potentially therapeutic compounds. The goal is to significantly reduce the time it now takes to develop new treatments by using high throughput technologies.
Dimitrios Iliopoulos, PhD, Maria Hatziapostolou, PhD, and Christos Polytarchou, PhD, recently joined UCLA from Harvard Medical School, where they began to develop this approach to GI research. Dr. Iliopoulos, currently an associate professor of medicine at UCLA, will be the director of this new center. Drs. Hatziapostolou and Polytarchou currently are assistant professors at UCLA and will be program leaders.
“Systems biology is an approach that combines different specialties to contribute in many different ways to create an understanding of gastrointestinal disease pathogenesis and develop therapies based on that understanding,” explains Dr. Iliopoulos. The UCLA Center for Gastrointestinal Systems Biology will bring together a multidisciplinary group that includes gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, cancer biologists, computer scientists and biomedical engineers in an interactive and collaborative environment. Read the full story »