Recent advances in molecular
and systems biology provide us with a huge amount of data about
the main components
and processes occurring in eukaryotic cells and their regulation.
We beleive that the available experimental data
allows for detailed and comprehensive reconstruction
of biochemical and genetic processes of living cells
of the human organism. This
leads us to the possibility of building a mathematical model of a living human
cell - the virtual cell.
Also we should take into account various types of
virtual cells reflecting the great variety of cell types in
the human organism
as well as different implementations of virtual cells reflecting
individual genetics and epigenetics - the
"personalized virtual cells".
To build the virtual human we propose two approaches:
- bottom-up - the virtual cells will serve as a basis for further endeavor
towards building models of the whole tissues and organs and finally the whole
organism - the virtual physiological human
- top-down - using this approach we can describe the organism
as a number of interconnected black boxes. Each black box contains a number of
equations to describe corresponding physiological or biochemical parameters of
organism. Step by step we can replace black boxes by grey boxes, and finally
they will be replaced by organ and tissues composed from virtual cells.
The ultimate objective is to create a model of the personalized virtual human
or virtual patient that will be extremely useful in medicine as a
means of computational identification of the most effective therapeutic
interventions and for prediction of potential outcomes of intended treatments
for a given patient.
The main challenges we have to
face while building the virtual cell and virtual human
- methodology - how we can build and verify complex mathematical models
- organization - how we can split main tasks
into smaller, manageable parts and
organize collaboration between researchers
- software - we need a software platform that will provide necessary
infrastructure for collaborative work of many researchers.
During the workshop we would like to discuss possible answers
- BioUML platform - integrated open source platform for
collaborative research in systems biology
- modular modeling and functional tests - as the main
part of methodology for building and
verifying complex mathematical models of biological systems.
Modular modeling also allows us to combine "bottom-up" and "top-down" approaches for building
- Biostore - portal for collaborative research and crowd sourcing.
Some examples demonstrate applicability of the suggested approach:
It is supposed that during the workshop all talks and posters will be
structured around the suggested approach.
For this purpose the web site contains detailed information about
approach. We would recommend familiarizing yourself with the
materials posted here and hope they will help you prepare your talks.
During the workshop we would also like to discuss, organize and plan some
particular steps within the further course of action and international collaboration
projects for building the virtual cell and
virtual human using the aproach described above.
The workshop "From virtual cell and virtual human to virtual parient" will be
held just before the Multiconference "New biology"
that includes a number of events integrating bioinformatics and experimental approaches
into the research of biological systems and processes.
We are looking forward to seeing you in Novosibirsk, Russia, June 24, 2012.