Calvin Yu-Chian Chen
China Medical University
Title : When Modern Computational Systems Biology Meets Ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine
Abstract :

Though the single drug-single protein theory has served medical research well in the past, increasing evidence now reveals that such a reductionist approach is overly simplistic. Support for this is seen in the multiplex of genetic and epigenetic factors involved in complex multifactor diseases. Better understanding of human physiological inner workings and disease networks has pushed for a re-evaluation of drug development principles. One concept that has emerged is the systems biology-based approach which integrates genomics, proteomics and metabolomics to enhance our understanding of the effects of a lead compound on whole pathways and networks rather than isolated protein targets, hereby increasing the success rate and decreasing the adverse effects of drugs. Interestingly, while the concept of viewing an illness as the collective expression of multiple imbalanced factors and using various treatments to “restore” balance to alleviate illness is relatively new to modern medicine practitioners, it is the central idea for TCM and the guiding concept for TCM formulations. Effectiveness of TCM formula is affected by the synergism of different components and largely dependent on the formula composition. The composition of a TCM formula follows set principles and has certain applicability. It is the practical adaptation of differential treatment. Therefore, its clinical application is not rigid and should change according to the progression of the illness, physical conditions, and age. When compositions of the primary medicinals are changed, the function of the TCM formula changes. There seems to be much similarity between TCM and systems biology. Both differ from the conventional bottom-up research approach by taking into account the entire biological system. Systems biology may be applied to “translate” TCM formula into logical, scientific information that can be communicated and generally applied. The question is how are we going about to do this?

Biography :

Prof. Calvin Yu-Chian Chen (Zt) is an advisor and professor in China Medical University and Asia University. He also serves as a PI in Harvard medical school and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an adjunct professor in Zhejiang University. He had built the world’s largest traditional Chinese medicine database ( and the world’s first cloud-computing CADD system ( He also built a world first integrated TCM and combine docking, molecular dynamics cloud-computing systems, iSMART( Prof. Chen’s laboratory focuses on interdisciplinary issues, such as bioinformatics, systems biology, chemoinformatics, and pharmainformatics, and investigates biological problems by means of mathematic, physical, chemical, and computational methods.

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