Human is a multicellular organism consisting of 3.72x1013 cells. Biological activities of each cell are founded by complex chemical reaction such as gene expression and signal transduction. Approximately 109 – 1012 cells make up each organ (e.g., 6x109 and 3.1x1012 cells for the heart and brain, respectively) and cross-talks among multiple organs are critical for the maintenance of homeostasis. Such biological organization establishes the hierarchy which is the basis of complex and non-linear biological systems.

The long-term goal of the project is to decipher mechanisms underlying such multi-scale biological systems. We use experimental animal models such as zebrafish and mouse to unveil how such hierarchical organization is established during development and maintained in adult. We also investigate the early triggers leading to the dysfunction of such systems that ultimately results in various disease conditions. To validate findings with these animal models, we also conduct clinical research with human subjects. To facilitate defining and solving non-linear and complex problems associated with the study of multi-scale biological systems, we take advantages of concepts and tools of mathematical modeling, computational science and engineering, as necessary.

Our studies are expected to contribute to the development of more efficient and effective diagnostic and therapeutic methods, such as “Live Bio-Forecasting System” or “Virtual Live Clinics” where the measurements of the current conditions and forecasting and controlling/pre-empting the future conditions are all accomplished in real-time. The aims of the project are to make critical conceptual and technical breakthroughs leading such technological innovation.

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