Conferences archive > 2015 > SPEAKERS & ABSTRACTS

Alexander Hoffman

Personal Statement 
Over the past 10 years I have aimed to advance a Systems Biology that more fully develops the synergies between Biology and the Math-based sciences. I have pursued this goal at several levels: (i) by developing research approaches in my laboratory in studies on the signal and gene regulatory networks controlling immunity (h-index 47), (ii) by promoting technological and conceptual approaches of math-based biological research through the establishment of the San Diego Center for Systems Biology and UCSD’s BioCircuits Institute, and (iii) by impacting graduate training at UCSD through the Programs in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology and in Chemistry and Biochemistry. 
The research of my laboratory focuses on the signaling systems that ensure that cells respond to noxious stimuli and pathogens appropriately, and how they change during cell differentiation and carcinogenesis. Systems level understanding of these biological processes will lead to a better understanding of how to drug target these pleiotropic signaling systems. Experimental work in animals, cell culture, and cell-free biochemical assays, at the single-molecule to genome-wide scales, is coordinated with computational work using mathematical models at the intra-cellular molecular network and inter-cellular population scales. Within the Systems Biology paradigm, our Iterative modeling and experimental studies focus on how genome-scale phenotypes are regulated, the network emergent properties that determine biological function, and the regulatory control principles that may be applied to other biological networks. 

Positions and Employment 
2003 - 2008 Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego 
2008 - 2010 Associate Professor, University of California, San Diego 
2008 - 2011 Associate Director of the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Graduate Program, UCSD 
2009 - Associate Director of the BioCircuits Institute (BCI), UCSD 
2010 - Professor, University of California, San Diego 
2010 - Director of the San Diego Center for Systems Biology (SDCSB) 
2011 - Director of the Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Graduate Program, UCSD


Is so-called clinical Big Data actually sufficient?

Measurement capabilities have dramatically increased the data flow in biomedicine, and the linking of electronic medical records provides unprecedented opportunities to learn from clinical histories. Yet the variability of the human condition diminishes the predictive power of statistical models leaving us wanting for ever more data.  Here I discuss the thesis that biological knowledge – about the functions of genes and molecular mechanisms – has an enormous but largely untapped potential to provide the power for interpreting data and predicting outcomes, the core promises of precision medicine.  Computational modeling and algorithmic development emerge as the lynchpin for connecting redoubled efforts basic science and clinical data.

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