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A brilliant young scientist introduces us to the fascinating field that is changing our understanding of how the body works and the way we can approach healing.
Systematic is the first book to introduce general readers to systems biology, which is improving medical treatments and our understanding of living things. In traditional bottom-up biology, a biologist might spend years studying how a single protein works, but systems biology studies how networks of those proteins work together – how they promote health and how to remedy the situation when the system isn't functioning properly.
Breakthroughs in systems biology became possible only when powerful computer technology enabled researchers to process massive amounts of data to study complete systems, and has led to progress in the study of gene regulation and inheritance, cancer drugs personalized to an individual's genetically unique tumor, insights into how the brain works, and the discovery that the bacteria and other microbes that live in the gut may drive malnutrition and obesity. Systems biology is allowing us to understand more complex phenomena than ever before.
In accessible prose, Systematic sheds light not only on how systems within the body work, but also on how research is yielding new kinds of remedies that enhance and harness the body's own defenses.
James R. Valcourt is pursuing a Ph.D. in systems biology at Harvard University. As a former researcher at D. E. Shaw Research in New York City, he used supercomputer simulations to study pharmaceutical drugs. He is a recipient of the quarter-million-dollar Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with an A.B. in molecular biology, receiving the Pyne Prize. This is his first book and he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.