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Opportunities and Challenges in Applying Systems Pathology Approaches to Study AA Liver Disease

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

4:00 PM-5:30 PM

BIOMED Seminar


Opportunities and Challenges in Applying Systems Pathology Approaches to Study Alcohol-associated (AA) Liver Disease

Rajanikanth Vadigepalli, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair for Research
Thomas Jefferson University

Excessive alcohol consumption is a global healthcare problem with enormous social, economic, and clinical consequences. Failure of the liver to mount sufficiently compensatory regeneration is now being recognized as an important contributor to Alcoholic Hepatitis and acute liver failure. Liver regeneration following injury is a well-studied phenomenon in which the role of several signaling pathways and control mechanisms are being unraveled. Enhancing the regenerative capacity of the liver is crucial in a clinical setting, as liver resection and transplantation remain major components of treatments for patients in advanced stages of liver disease.

In this presentation, we will explore the opportunities and challenges in using a systems pathology framework to study the key molecular, cellular and tissue-scale mechanisms driving liver dysfunction and failure in alcohol-associated liver disease.

Rajanikanth Vadigepalli’s collaborative research program at the Daniel Baugh Institute for Functional Genomics/Computational Biology is driven by a convergence of systems engineering, computational modeling, bioinformatics, and single cell scale transcriptomics, to identify and target key control points for intervention in disease. Ongoing international collaborative projects focus on central and peripheral neural circuits controlling the heart, brainstem neuroimmune processes leading to hypertension, liver regeneration in alcoholic liver disease, and cell fate regulation underlying developmental defects.  He mentors trainees from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds including cell biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, bioinformatics, bioengineering, biochemical engineering, medicine, and pathology.

Most recently, the collaborative research group led the development of a unique 3D map of the nervous system at the heart that combines high-resolution anatomical data and spatially-tracked single cell scale molecular data into an integrative framework. Other recent research from the group has led to: patented microRNA-based molecular targets to prevent essential hypertension; novel insights into the process of liver regeneration towards new clinical decision-making tools; new analytical tools for mining high-dimensional data; and, novel methods for computational modeling of biological networks and processes.

Dr. Vadigepalli is a member of the Committee on Credible Practice of Modeling & Simulation in Healthcare, and is developing best practices for building, documenting and sharing computational models in healthcare. The committee drafted Ten Simple Rules that have been adopted by the National Institutes of Health programs to promote and assess credible practice of modeling and simulation in biomedical sciences and healthcare. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Multiscale Modeling Consortium with focus on developing and sharing mechanistic models of physiology and high-fidelity medical simulations.

Dr. Vadigepalli is Vice Chair of Research and Professor of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology at Thomas Jefferson University.  He received his Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras in 1996; his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2001, with Specialization in Systems and Control Engineering; and his postdoctoral training in Bioinformatics at Thomas Jefferson University.

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