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Laura Furlong
MedBioinformatics Solutions

OpenTox Virtual Conferecne 2022 

Network-based approaches to support translational risk assessment

Biomolecules do not act in isolation; they rather interact with each other to perform their function in cells. Cellular activity relies on the accomplishment of an intricate set of interactions among proteins and other biomolecules. Environmental factors such as chemicals and drugs may alter the structure and properties of biological molecules, hence impacting their interactions with other molecules. These perturbations can propagate through the system leading to disease states that are difficult to explain considering the individual perturbation on proteins or other biomolecules. The effect of genomic alterations on the function of genes and proteins should also be considered in the context of such interconnections. System and network-based methods are suitable approaches to analyze and explain the effect of perturbations by chemicals and drugs on biological systems. We will present network-based approaches implemented in the context of the RISKHUNT3R project to explore the role of chemicals on health and to support the development of new in-silico risk assessment methods. 

CV: Laura I. Furlong is Co-founder and Scientific Director of Medbioinformatics Solutions, Senior Researcher at the Integrative Biomedical Informatics group at the Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB), and associate lecturer at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Buenos Aires and an MSc in Bioinformatics from Pompeu Fabra University. With more than 15 years of experience in translational bioinformatics, one of her main interests is to translate cutting-edge bioinformatics research into real-world clinical and industrial applications. Her current interests are in systems toxicology, disease genomics, text mining, and knowledge management. She has supervised 4 doctoral theses and published over 75 peer-reviewed articles. She has participated in several European projects and is currently involved in eTRANSAFE, TransQST, and RISKHUNT3R. She is the coordinator of the DISGENET plus knowledge platform on disease genomics.