Research Highlight: Predictive Metabolic Models

Professor Soha Hassoun and Professor Kyongbum Lee (Chemical and Biological Engineeiring) and their interdisciplinary research team are investigating new computational approaches to predict how drug chemicals affect human cells. Cells in the human body simultaneously perform hundreds to thousands of chemical reactions. These reactions connect to each other through shared intermediates, forming a complex biochemical "network." Like other complex systems such as transportation or information networks, stability, robustness and other features of a biochemical network depend on the myriad interactions between its many components and the surrounding environment.  Despite rapid advances in sciences, only partial knowledge exists regarding these interactions, especially as they relate to the metabolism of drugs. For this reason, developing mathematical equations and computational models describing the chemistry of a living cell remains a grand challenge.  

Professors Hassoun's and Lee's research focuses on building and validating efficient computational models of cells to predict behaviors in the presence of one more drugs.  Such computational models will provide guidance and complement experimental approaches.

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