Systems Biology for the Exposome

A workshop hosted by the HERCULES Systems Biology Core and Georgia Tech’s Integrative BioSystems Institute on May 27 and 28, 2015

Systems Biology is a field that addresses the dynamic interactions among components of living cells or organisms and their environments. Using techniques from mathematics, computer science and engineering, computational systems biology strives to integrate large heterogeneous datasets and convert that information into descriptions of the functions of living systems.

As the first workshop of its kind, “The Role of Systems Biology for the Exposome” was intended to explore how existing and to be developed methods for systems biology may be used to advance our understanding of the exposome. Speakers throughout the day and a half workshop provided examples of the different techniques and approaches that they brought to the exposome conversation.

Photo credit: by renjith krishnan

Photo credit: by renjith krishnan

For characterizing the exposome, multiple speakers explored the efforts to measure exogenous and endogenous chemicals and how to link these markers to both individual and population level exposome measurements. From more individualized approaches of metabolomics and pathway analysis to larger population approaches including epidemiologic techniques, spatial analysis tools and computational modeling, the workshop provided an opportunity for a wide range of perspectives to be explored.

Moving forward, the challenge remains how to integrate data and analysis techniques to address the depth of complexity the exposome seeks to capture.

See the full list of presentations and speakers below. (alphabetical by presenter)

Dana Barr, Emory University Internal Chemical Exposure Assessment: the Role of Targeted Analysis in Exposome Research

Sudin Bhattacharya, The Hamner Institues for Health Sciences A Multi-scale Network Perspective on the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Toxicity Pathway

Howard Chang, Emory University Data Assimilation of Environmental Pollution Fields for Health Studies

Gayle DeBord, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health The Exposome: Implications for Occupational Health

Greg Gibson, Georgia Institute of Technology GWAS of Exposure

Paul Lioy, Rutgers University Harmonization of Internal and External Markers used in Exposure Science and Support of the Exposome Concept

Kun Lu, University of Georgia Metabolomics Analysis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Gary Miller, Emory University HERCULES: Building a Platform for Exposome Research

Joachim Pleil, U.S. EPA The Human Exposome and Systems Biology: Ongoing Empirical Measurement Studies and Biomarker Interpretation

Zhen Qi, Georgia Institute of Technology Inferring Molecular Mechanisms of Environmental Compounds from Metabolomics Data

Ivan Rusyn, Texas A&M University Exploring the Characterization of Human Variability with in vivo and in vitro Experimental Models

Jeffrey Skolnick, Georgia Institute of Technology Comprehensive Prediction of Drug-Protein Interactions and Side Effects for the Human Proteome

Mark Styczynski, Georgia Institute of Technology Extracting Patterns and Relationships from Large-Omics Datasets

Russell Thomas, U.S. EPA Integrating Exposure with Computational Toxicology to Provide a Risk-Based Framework for High-Throughput Chemical Assessment

Veronica Vieira, University of California, Irvine Analyzing Epidemiologic Data by Smoothing in Geographic and Exposure Space

Tianwei Yu, Emory University Methods for the Detection of Environmental Chemicals in the Human Blood Using LC/MS Metabolomics Data