Omics and Systems Biology

Omics and systems biology

Omics and Systems Biology

The fields of genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and systems biology aim to map and characterize biological variation that arises from the genome and/or environment and ultimately provide comprehensive understanding of the genotype phenotype relationship in living organisms in molecular detail. 

While methodologically distinct, the fields all deal with the analysis of big data and are dependent upon robust bioinformatics and integrative experimental modelling approaches that are supported by the Biomedical Centers Bioinformatics Facility

Genomics involves the assaying and subsequent analysis of genomic DNA sequences and their RNA products e.g. transcriptomes from biological samples from different developmental stages, cell cultures or diseased tissues. Genomics studies use high-throughput experimental and integrative computational approaches to define variability in genome structure and function.

Proteomics involves the assaying and subsequent analysis of peptides using immunological, aptamer or mass spectrometry based methodology from biological samples.  Proteomic studies use high-throughput experimental and computational approaches to define variability in protein expression, structure and function that can then be related to variation within the genome or different diseases in the human body.

Metabolomic and lipidomic studies aim to characterize and/or quantify the small molecular composition of biological material. In biological terms, changes observed in the metabolome represent the final molecular readout encoded by the genome that can be related to human diseases.

Systems biology is an interdisciplinary research field that aims to understand which regulatory mechanisms enable emergent behaviour from interacting biological elements. A particular focus of systems biology is to predict how biological systems respond to time and perturbations. Applied to human health, systems biology uses quantitative data, principles and experimentation to address the biomedical challenges our society faces today.