A Systems Approach to Identifying Optimal Treatment Courses for Complex Chronic Neuroinflammatory Illnesses
Travis J.A. Craddock, Ph.D. (Physics)
Associate Professor, Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience, Computer Science, and Immunology,
Director, Clinical Systems Biology Group,
Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine,
Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Abstract: Discovering novel treatment strategies for complex chronic illnesses through traditional discovery pipelines is extremely expensive, carries a high probability of failure, and a lengthy cycle time. Furthermore, it is becoming clear that “one target, one treatment” solutions may not be capable of addressing difficult conditions. Repurposing Food and Drug Administration approved drugs offers a cost-effective solution with a significantly abbreviated timeline. Furthermore, combining multi-system modeling with these bioinformatics techniques can harness the regulatory dynamics of the human body to identify robust treatment courses that might produce lasting remission. Here it will be discussed how differentially expressed gene modules cross-referenced with drug atlas and pharmacogenomic databases can be used to identify targetable systems and agents. Based on these results it will be discussed how to construct a discrete ternary logic representation of signaling networks from physiological and biochemical literature to provide a qualitative description of multi-system behavior. By exploiting the regulatory dynamics of the resulting model through the application of a combinatorial optimization scheme and Monte Carlo simulation, it will be discussed how to predict treatment courses that might produce lasting disease remission. While the methods presented here can be applied generally, they will be discussed in the context of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Gulf War Illness, debilitating chronic multi-symptom disorders for which there is no known treatment.
Brief Bio: Travis J.A. Craddock, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology & Neuroscience, Computer Science and Clinical Immunology at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He serves as the Director of the Clinical Systems Biology group at NSU’s Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine where he applies computational systems biology and biophysics methods towards the purpose of identifying novel treatments for complex chronic illness involving neuroinflammation. Dr. Craddock received his Ph.D. in the field of biophysics at the University of Alberta where his graduate research activities focused on subneural biomolecular information processing, and nanoscale neuroscience descriptions of memory, consciousness and cognitive dysfunction in neurodegenerative disorders. His current research activities are focused on using a theory driven approach to understand the underlying molecular regulation of chronic illness resulting from exposure to neurotoxins, such as anesthesia and nerve agents, or viral infection in order to improve diagnosis and putative treatment strategies. This work is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.
Current Areas of Academic Focus:
- cellular information processes, and molecular neuroscience
- biophysics of neurological/neurodegenerative diseases
- systems neurobiology
- quantum biology
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Meeting ID: 836 5649 8629