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Thesis: Network biology tools for applications in medicine and biotechnology


Research Scientist, M.Sc. Erno Lindfors from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will defend his thesis “Network Biology. Applications in medicine and biotechnology” on 4th November at 12 o’clock at the Aalto University in Espoo. This research has had a central role in establishing VTT’s bioinformatics platform, and it has led to one visualization technique patent. The research has been carried out under the supervision of Research Professor Matej Orešič in VTT’s Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics group.

In this research the scientists developed a system for visualizing heterogeneous biological data originated from disparate sources. They also developed two graph-theoretic methods, and showed the utility of these methods in the context of medicine and biotechnology.

As the most interesting finding, they found that a metabolic reaction path that possibly protects pancreas from oxidative damage was down-regulated in early state of type 1 diabetes in the non-obese diabetic mouse model. This finding was consistent with recent clinical findings.

Network biology uses a graph theoretic approach to characterize complex interactions of biological systems, which has led to many practical applications spanning from disease elucidation to biotechnology during the last years. This approach uses large amounts of data generated by biological data measurement techniques that have gained tremendous advances during the last ten years. Several research groups have generated this data and it is scattered across separate databases.

Erno Lindfors will defend his thesis “Network Biology. Applications in medicine and biotechnology” on November 4, 2011 at 12:00 o’clock at the Aalto University (E-Hall, Otakaari 1, Espoo, Finland).The custos is Professor Kimmo Kaski from Aalto School of Science, and the opponent is Olli Yli-Harja from Tampere University of Technology.