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Open Access

A systems biology approach to understanding atherosclerosis

Stephen A. Ramsey, Elizabeth S. Gold, Alan Aderem

Author Affiliations

  1. Stephen A. Ramsey1,
  2. Elizabeth S. Gold1 and
  3. Alan Aderem (aderem{at}systemsbiology.org) *,1
  1. 1Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA, USA
  1. *Tel: +1‐206‐732‐1203; Fax: +1‐206‐732‐1299;
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Abstract

Atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the vascular system, presents significant challenges to developing effective molecular diagnostics and novel therapies. A systems biology approach integrating data from large‐scale measurements (e.g. transcriptomics, proteomics and genomics) is successfully contributing to deciphering regulatory networks underlying the response of many different cellular systems to perturbations. Such a network analysis strategy using pathway information and data from multiple measurement platforms, tissues and species is a promising approach to elucidate the mechanistic underpinnings of complex diseases. Here, we present our views on the contributions that a systems approach can bring to the study of atherosclerosis, propose ways to tackle the complexity of the disease in a systems manner and review recent systems‐level studies of the disease.

  • Received November 17, 2009.
  • Revision received November 26, 2009.
  • Accepted January 25, 2010.

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