Joshy George is currently an Associate Director in the computational sciences group in the Jackson laboratory for genomic medicine in Connecticut, USA. He did his undergraduate degree in electronics engineering from NITC Kerala, Masters degree in electrical communications engineering from I.I.Sc and Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining the Jackson Laboratory, he has done research in the field of computational biology at the research division of Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Australia and The Genome Institute of Singapore. He has also worked in ER&DC (currently CDAC) Trivandrum and STMicroelectronics Singapore, in image and video processing.
Biological systems are open self-organizing systems that interact with their environment and are maintained by flows of information, energy, and matter. Traditionally scientists have resorted to a reductionist approach to understanding these complicated systems by taking them apart. This approach has its limitations, as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Systems biology is a systematic and principled approach to understanding the larger picture—be it at the level of the organism, tissue, or cell—by putting its pieces together. To this end, biologists have developed several techniques to measure the state of these systems in higher resolutions and scale in different conditions. What is now required is to develop analytical methods to transform these huge datasets into knowledge. In this talk, I will use examples of this approach to understanding the origin and progression of cancer.