I-CORE | Gene Regulation in Complex Human Disease
In disease, normal pathways of cellular and molecular interactions are altered and a new network logic then molds the pathological phenotype typical of each disease. By applying the same concepts of systems-level analysis used for understanding normal development, it has recently been possible to decipher the response pathways and learn about the fundamental defects underlying a variety of different diseases. This approach has revealed new pathways in cancer that have been translated into promising drugs, has provided insights on the pathogenesis of type-2 diabetes and is revolutionizing our understanding of infectious and immune diseases. Equally important, the ability to measure genetic and epigenetic variations among patients and combine this data with individual patient responses to therapeutic drugs may be applied towards integrating personalized medicine in routine medical care.
In order to take advantage of modern technology and the rich academic and clinical infrastructure in Israel, we have established an Israeli Center of Excellence (I-CORE) for the study of complex diseases that is organized around a consortium of established and young scientists from the Hebrew University (HU), Tel Aviv University (TAU), Bar Ilan University (BIU), Hadassah Hospital (HH) and the Sheba Medical Center (SMC). This Center will be devoted to the study of three major disease categories: Cancer, Metabolic disorders such as Diabetes, Aging and Obesity, and Infection and Immunity. Each of these sub-programs are designed as collaborative efforts that combine multiple disciplines with the aim of deciphering the molecular regulatory networks underlying each disease type and providing new information for improving treatment.
Methodological resources are divided into dedicated research hubs, with Genome Centers at SMC and HUJI, an Imaging Center at HH, a Metabolic Center at BIU and a Proteomics Center at TAU. The Center sponsors a variety of lecture courses and practical workshops on subjects ranging from imaging, epigenetics, bioinformatics, mathematical modeling, proteomics, and systems biology. A monthly seminar program, international conferences and public lectures will take place, aimed at raising the general level of medical awareness.
This program is facilitating the absorption of 15 Israel-trained scientists who have received postgraduate training out of the country and will now be returning to take up positions at the academic institutes included in this Center. Each scientist brings invaluable new ideas and approaches that will set the trend for future progress in understanding and treating complex diseases.