Medical Research

Boston University

Plamen Ch. Ivanov, Ednan Bajwa, Julian Goldman, Susan Redline
Boston, MA
June 2015

Investigators at Boston University, in collaboration with scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, will develop the first atlas representing the network of dynamical interactions among organ systems in the human body.  The investigators plan to develop a theoretical framework and the first tools to explore quantitatively the way in which organ systems coordinate their functions and collectively interact as a network to produce distinct physiological states such as stages of sleep, coma, or multiple organ failure.  This system-integrative approach will lay the foundations of a new field, Network Physiology.  The researchers will also develop a novel platform capable of simultaneously recording organ output signals and directly relating them to physiological states and disease conditions.  The work could have a large impact as it may determine, for the first time, fundamental mechanisms that govern organ network interactions and their evolution across physiological states, and may lead to next-generation ICU monitoring devices and more comprehensive assessment of drug effects based on novel information derived from networks of organ interactions.  In addition, the investigators will build a database of network maps as a reference for normal and dysfunctional physiological conditions.

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