Systematic: How Systems Biology Is Transforming Modern Medicine 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. Thumbnail photo: Walter K Schlage, Jurjen W Westra, Stephan Gebel, Natalie L Catlett, Carole Mathis, Brian P Frushour, Arnd Hengstermann, Aaron Van Hooser, Carine Poussin, Ben Wong, Michael Lietz, Jennifer Park, David Drubin, Emilija Veljkovic, Manuel C Peitsch, Julia HoengEmail author and Renee Deehan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
BIO: James Valcourt
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 Somerville, Massachusetts.