Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2015, Article ID 698169, 8 pages
Review Article

Systems Medicine: The Application of Systems Biology Approaches for Modern Medical Research and Drug Development

1Centre for Molecular Medicine and Biobanking, University of Malta, Msida MSD 2080, Malta
2Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

Received 31 May 2015; Revised 27 July 2015; Accepted 29 July 2015

Academic Editor: Andrzej Kloczkowski

Copyright © 2015 Duncan Ayers and Philip J. Day. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The exponential development of highly advanced scientific and medical research technologies throughout the past 30 years has arrived to the point where the high number of characterized molecular agents related to pathogenesis cannot be readily integrated or processed by conventional analytical approaches. Indeed, the realization that several moieties are signatures of disease has partly led to the increment of complex diseases being characterized. Scientists and clinicians can now investigate and analyse any individual dysregulations occurring within the genomic, transcriptomic, miRnomic, proteomic, and metabolomic levels thanks to currently available advanced technologies. However, there are drawbacks within this scientific brave new age in that only isolated molecular levels are individually investigated for their influence in affecting any particular health condition. Since their conception in 1992, systems biology/medicine focuses mainly on the perturbations of overall pathway kinetics for the consequent onset and/or deterioration of the investigated condition/s. Systems medicine approaches can therefore be employed for shedding light in multiple research scenarios, ultimately leading to the practical result of uncovering novel dynamic interaction networks that are critical for influencing the course of medical conditions. Consequently, systems medicine also serves to identify clinically important molecular targets for diagnostic and therapeutic measures against such a condition.