Information Based Medicine

The Information Based Medicine Program is focussed on bringing on advances to the field of Personalised Medicine. With major research interests spanning multiple health conditions, from cancer to autoimmune disease, the Program draws together the disciplines of computer science, mathematics and computer analytic expertise with genetics, pathology, proteomics, metabolomics and epidemiology. By embracing the interdisciplinary nature of the challenge that is personalised medicine, this diverse team of researchers is paving the way for an increasingly patient-tailored approach to healthcare.

In this modern era of “big data”, enormous amounts of data can be generated over a relatively short space of time. In the context of healthcare, quantitative information about a patients’ health status, coupled with these massive advances in technology can facilitate improvements in the development of personalised treatments and outcomes.

However, it is only with appropriate analytical methods that the relevant information can be identified and put to good use.

Researchers within this Program work together, in order to extract information from complex datasets and improve analytical techniques. The data collected is used to predict disease risk and improve therapies at the patient-specific level, and also investigate mechanisms of disease development at the biological level.

The team has introduced new mathematical models based on information theory, optimization and statistics which have wide-reaching applications and the potential to inform a huge variety of studies, as such models can assist with the identification of markers for health and disease.

Diseases studied range from Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, to Cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, Childhood Absence Epilepsy and Schizophrenia.

Studies currently being conducted by the Information Based Medicine Program, include:

  • Digital pathology: Improvements in image analysis software for use in pathological practise
  • Introduction of Next Generation Sequencing in to clinical practice
  • Identification and characterization of genetic risk factors contributing to individual susceptibility to brain, breast, colon and prostate cancer
  • Identification of biological markers that can predict clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Investigations into the biology of breast cancer development, subtypes and drug susceptibility
  • Identification of subtypes of brain cancer and potential molecular targets for network pharmacology interventions
  • Research into the genetic, epigenetic and environmental contributions to the development of Multiple Sclerosis
  • Identification of genetic susceptibility to infection within Indigenous populations and also elite athletes
  • Investigations into the role of DNA repair in chemo-resistance seen within ovarian cancer and melanoma patients

The Information Based Medicine Program has many members who are affiliated with the University’s Priority Research Centre in Bioinformatics, Biomarker Discovery and Information-Based Medicine, and also incorporates:

Program LeadersProfessor Rodney Scott and Professor Pablo Moscato, The University of Newcastle

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