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Friday January 27, special invited talk:
Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel Dr. Colleen Clancy from the Pharmacology department on Friday, January 27th at 12:10pm in MSB 2112.
Math instead of mice: Computational approaches to reveal mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias
The first 25 minutes will be a research talk, and the second 25 minutes will be a discussion of her career path.
Abstract: Common paroxysmal electrical diseases that affect millions of people worldwide are notoriously difficult to manage with drug therapy, and some drugs intended for therapy can even exacerbate disease. A vital hindrance to safe and effective drug treatment of excitable disorders is that there is currently no way to predict how drugs with complex interactions and multiple subcellular targets will alter the emergent electrical activity of cells and tissues. Our work involves the development of a novel quantitative systems pharmacology approach derived from a combination of experiments, computational biology, high performance computing and clinical observation that allows for probing the mechanisms of action of drugs in the settings of one of the most common excitable diseases: cardiac arrhythmias. These new tools can be applied to preclinical screening of compounds for therapeutic benefit or harm. A computer-based approach can be used to determine mechanisms of drugs, with a specific focus to conduct failure analysis for once promising drugs that have failed clinically. Finally, models will be applied to demonstrate utility in guiding therapy for specific clinical situations and to identify optimal “polypharmacy” to inform the common practice of clinical empirical mixing and matching of drugs to create multidrug therapeutic regimens. The computational processes that we have developed are paradigms for how the explosion in systems and computational biology can be utilized to assist drug-screening, determination of mechanisms and to guide therapy. The eventual goal is a scalable, automated platform that will interact with other cutting edge technologies to serve purposes in industry, academia and in clinical medicine that will be widely expanded to pharmacology of other common disorders of excitability such as epilepsy, ataxia and even pain.