Welcome to The Department of Systems Medicine and Bioengineering (SMAB) at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute. The mission of this department is to engineer better medicine and to advance therapeutic sciences using systems biology, bioengineering, and bioimaging approaches.
In the biomedical sciences, the trend moves from a reductionist approach to a "systems understanding" paradigm that aims to understand biology and pathophysiology in a holistic manner, making use of increasing amounts of -omics data, pathways information, phenotypic images, and other quantitative data. The challenge, however, is to convert scientific advances made in molecular and cellular biology and the availability of massive amounts of experimental and clinical data into "new" medical knowledge and clinical utility that benefit patients and improve quality of life.
To this end, systems medicine is an emerging discipline that investigates and integrates systems biology approaches with methodological principles of engineering to translational research and medical practice. It integrates a variety of biological, chemical, and medical data at multiple scale of biology, ranging from genes, proteins and cells to tissues, organs, and populations using the power of computational analysis, information technology, and mathematical modeling to better understand the disease mechanisms and devise cost-effective strategies for disease management and treatment. New medical knowledge gained in turns also helps guide the creative development of next generation medical devices and tools. We believe that the systematic integration of systems biology and engineering methodologies with experimental biology and clinical medicine holds the key to translating scientific discoveries effectively from bench to bedside and back.
SMAB faculty collaborate actively with scientists, physicians and patients around the globe to combat disease problems, with emphasis on cancer, brain diseases, and metabolic disorders. The department is composed of a multi-disciplinary team of passionate investigators, fellows, postdocs, students and supporting staff with expertise in:
SMAB scientists pursue translational research projects that cut across scientific disciplines and institutions. Collectively, the Department hosts three interdisciplinary centers:
Focuses on developing novel computational methods, biomedical devices, and healthcare information infrastructure to help combat cancer, cure diabetes, and improve clinical outcomes.
Applies cancer systems biology to understand mechanisms of tumor initiation and development, as well as to develop computational tools and models to predict treatment responses. Funded by the NCI-ICBP program with the participation of Baylor College of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University and the University of New Mexico.
Integrates neuroscience imaging and bioinformatics with experimental neurobiology and chemical genomics to understand the causes of and find cure for neuroregeneration, particularly for Alzheimer’s disease. Founded with a gracious donation from the TT and WF Chao Family Foundation.