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The molecular and cellular networks that compose cells and tissues fundamentally determine the emergent properties that shape the physiology of healthy organs and pathological tissues that cause diseases, like neurodegeneration and cancer. Their complexity requires novel and integrated approaches that span scales, ideas, and techniques. Pushing the boundary of knowledge in the direction of understanding molecular, cellular, and tissue systems will allow us to gain the insight required to build better therapies.
This program seeks to develop innovative approaches for treating disease by manipulating molecules, cells or systems. For example, diseases associated with misfolded proteins, such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s, could be treated by understanding and eventually modifying how proteins fold into their complex three-dimensional, functional configurations. A better understanding of most biological processes is likely to depend upon system-wide approaches at all levels.