Systems biology for evaluating system-based medicine

The introduction of systems biology in combination with the profiling of numerous biochemical components (e.g. lipid metabolites, herbal products) enables the study of living systems from a holistic perspective. In this thesis we explored systems biology-based platforms to investigate the therapeutic effects of chemical drugs and herbal medicines on animal models with high-fat diet-induced obesity and genetic manipulated diabetes. The aim of the work was to better understand the working mechanisms of both treatments on metabolic syndrome from a holistic point of view and to evaluate the potentials of ‘omics’ technologies to this effort. Our results showed that lipidomics approach with appropriate bioinformatics tools are essential to describe the global, dynamic metabolic response of living systems, e.g. from homeostasis via sub-optimal health and ultimately to dysfunction. These studies pointed hints to disco ver lipid biomarkers in relation to health promotion and disease prevention and facilitated the understanding of the complex regulatory mechanisms in humans or animals. Particularly, the introduction of the systems biology view will not only provide in-depth insights into the multi-target synergetic effects (which have hardly been used in modern drug discovery) but also can bridge Chinese Medicine (multi-target therapy) and Western Medicine (molecular pharmacology).

Chunxiu Hu
Published in: 
Doctoral thesis
Date of publication: 
June, 2012
Status of the publication: