What is Network Medicine?

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What is Network Medicine?

Disease onset is triggered by a breakdown in a network system. Network Medicine explores the mechanisms at systems level and translate discoveries to treatment.

Network Medicine

A new goal of our project is to now develop temporal and spatial integration models at multiple levels, from molecules to cells, organs, individuals, and environments toward the discovery of unknown linkages among diseases, a so-called “Diseasome”, and to develop innovative diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive strategies based on our understanding of signal network systems. We call this new type of medical system “Network Medicine”.

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Origin of Network Medicine

Impressive advancements in molecular biology have enhanced recent progress in disease-oriented research, which has yielded significant results, particularly in the functional analysis of individual proteins and genes. In our last 21st Century COE Program, entitled “Center for Innovative Therapeutic Development Towards the Conquest of Signal Transduction Diseases”, the Graduate School of Medicine assumed a leading position in the exploration of molecular targets in signal transduction and we successfully identified a variety of target molecules. The efficiency of our strategy was demonstrated by the generation of a variety of disease models in mice.

Our research activities led to the finding that signals interact not only in a single cascade but that they also serve as members of a network system within individuals, and that homeostasis is maintained by a delicate balance at multiple levels, from molecules and organelles to cells and organs. We are now using this strategy to focus on the concept that disease onset is triggered by a breakdown in the network system, leading to a possible new treatment strategy in the coming years.

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Tohoku University Global COE for Conquest of Signal Transduction Diseases with Network Medicine