Systems biology and proteomics

The molecular linguistics
of biological systems

Understanding a complex biological system, be it a single cell, multicellular organism or multispecies consortia, requires understanding its language: its means of functional communication between numerous individual components. In a post-genomic era, the next bottleneck of this learning process is mapping meaningful combinations of individual “words” — that is, active components. This challenging endeavor requires integration of high-throughput experimental platforms (most importantly, proteomics) with computational modeling. In this 2016 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting symposium, experts from these intersecting fields will enlighten us as to how to decode the language of molecular complexes and interactions in various biological systems.

Where proteomics meets medicine

Proteins are undoubtedly the most informative class of biomolecules in biomedical research not only due to their direct biological relevance to human pathologies but also as major drug targets for many diseases. The next generation of mass spectrometry enables systematic analyses of human proteomes for improved disease diagnostics and treatments.

Networking in the cell

The explosion of Web-based social networks coincided with our growing appreciation of an intricate web of molecular interactions driving each living cell. Cellular networks of various types (metabolic, signaling and regulatory) contain broadly conserved as well as unique aspects, which together comprise a subject of adaptive evolution. Recent progress in network modeling yields new insights into the linguistics of biological systems.

The sociology of protein machines

Protein complexes are macromolecular machines that coordinate the functions of the cell. These functional modules are dynamic entities whose relationships are orchestrated carefully to maintain cell homeostasis. Innovations in mass spectrometry-based approaches have made it possible to dissect structural and functional dynamics of protein machines and to understand their action mechanisms.

Molecular crosstalk between species

The final session will take us to the next layer of molecular interactions: between cells of different types and even different species (as in environmental or host-associated microbial consortia). Recent progress in this rapidly expanding field heavily relies on next-generation meta-omics technologies as well as on new approaches to systems-level data analysis and predictive modeling.


Lan Huang

Lan Huang, University of California, Irvine

Andrei Osterman

Andrei Osterman, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute