Integrative and theoretical research on the architecture of a biological system and its disorder

J Physiol Sci. 2019 May;69(3):433-451. doi: 10.1007/s12576-019-00667-8. Epub 2019 Mar 13.


An organism stems from assemblies of a variety of cells and proteins. This complex system serves as a unit, and it exhibits highly sophisticated functions in response to exogenous stimuli that change over time. The complete sequencing of the entire human genome has allowed researchers to address the enigmas of life and disease at the gene- or molecular-based level. The consequence of such studies is the rapid accumulation of a multitude of data at multiple levels, ranging from molecules to the whole body, that has necessitated the development of entirely new concepts, tools, and methodologies to analyze and integrate these data. This necessity has given birth to systems biology, an advanced theoretical and practical research framework that has totally changed the directions of not only basic life science but also medicine. During the symposium of the 95th Annual Meeting of The Physiological Society of Japan 2018, five researchers reported on their respective studies on systems biology. The topics included reactions of drugs, ion-transport architecture in an epithelial system, multi-omics in renal disease, cardiac electrophysiological systems, and a software platform for computer simulation. In this review article these authors have summarized recent achievements in the field and discuss next-generation studies on health and disease.

Keywords: Computer simulation; Omics study; Physiological experiments; Software platform; Systems biology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Computer Simulation
  • Disease / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Research
  • Software
  • Systems Biology / methods*