Systems Biology Applications to Infectious Disease


In this talk I will introduce my perspective on how systems biology-based approaches can be applied to infectious disease. I will highlight recent examples representing novel approaches to combatting viral infections including SARS-CoV-2. These will include:

  1. the application of the concept of synthetic lethality where we propose exploiting vulnerabilities in host cells induced by viral infection to disrupt viral replication;
  2. the development of a large repertoire of highly potent nanobodies that show promise as novel therapeutics. 

About the speaker

John Aitchison, Ph.D., is co-Director of the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research (CGIDR) at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and a Professor of Pediatrics at University of Washington. He is a founding faculty member of the Institute for Systems Biology, where he pioneered systems biology approaches for cell biology, so called systems cell biology. After 15 years at ISB, he became the Chief Science Officer, and subsequently President, of Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (dba Center for Infectious Disease Research) where he led the implementation of systems biology approaches to understand and battle infectious diseases, primarily those of developing countries. He led the merger between Seattle Biomedical Research Institute with Seattle Children’s to further advance systems biology and systems medicine.  

He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from McMaster University, Canada. He performed postdoctoral research in the Laboratory of Cell Biology at the Rockefeller University under the guidance of Professor Guenter Blobel (Nobel Laureate, 1999). Aitchison holds part-time, adjunct or affiliate faculty positions at the Institute for Systems Biology, University of Washington (Biochemistry), the University of Alberta (Cell Biology) and the University of British Columbia (Biochemistry).

Event Quick Information

26 Apr, 2021
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM