The advent of advanced bioanalytical technologies with increasing accuracy and precision has boosted the discovery of biomarkers and diagnostics. It requires an advanced infrastructure that allows profiling of genes (genomics), proteins (proteomics) and small molecules (metabolomics) in body fluids and tissues.
Appropriate translational biomarkers and molecular diagnostic tools reflect diseases, therapeutic interventions and adverse drug reactions. Moreover, they facilitate basic research towards molecular mechanisms of diseases and the efficacy and safety of drugs and therapeutic candidates. This relates to the top-down approach in the research programme ‘Molecular mechanisms of biological processes’.
Statistics and integrative bioinformatics are important tools for turning experimental biomarker data into valuable information. For example, they indicate the health status and predictions of related individual susceptibilities. An important aspect will be the integrative use of biological knowledge in statistical inference, such as protein structures or cell-type specific pathways. This is a clear area for multidisciplinary research. Computational and statistical techniques are combined with knowledge ranging from the molecules to the pathways in which they participate, to the entire organism.