Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences

Role of balanced positive and negative feedbacks in inflammatory/infectious diseases and their treatments

14June2017 16:00 - 17:00


Systems Biology seminar

by Dr Reiko J. Tanaka

Biological Control Systems Lab

Faculty of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering

Imperial College London


Homeostasis in biological systems is often attained as a result of a subtle balance between positive and negative feedbacks, and their unbalance may lead to disease conditions. Our research aims to elucidate essential pathological mechanisms of inflammatory and infectious disease from a viewpoint of control engineering, and to design personalised effective treatment strategies for its prevention and adequate control. In this seminar, I will present our approach applied to understand the pathogenesis for atopic eczema (acute/chronic skin inflammation with defective skin barrier) and bacterial/fungal infection in the respiratory systems. For each of the disease, we developed a simple mechanistic ODE model that describes the balanced positive and negative feedbacks that dictate the disease pathogenesis, and compared and validated our model results with experimental and clinical data.

Selected Literature
1. RJ Tanaka, N Boon, K Vrcelj, C Vinci, D Armstrong-James, E Bignell (2015). In-silico modelling of spore inhalation reveals fungal persistence following low dose exposure. Sci. Rep., 5, 13958.
2. E Domínguez-Hüttinger, P Christodoulides, K Miyauchi, AD Irvine, M Okada-Hatakeyama, M Kubo and R.J. Tanaka (2017). Mathemtaical modelling of atopic dermatitis reveals "double switch'' mechanisms underlying 4 common disease phenotypes. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. In press.
3. P Christodoulides, Y Hirata, E Domínguez-Hüttinger, SG Danby, MJ Cork, HC Williams, K Aihara and RJ Tanaka (2017). Computational design of treatment strategies for proactive therapy on atopic dermatitis using optimal control theory. Philos. Trans. A. Math. Phys. Eng. Sci. 375: 20160825.
4. E Domínguez-Hüttinger, NJ Boon, T Clarke and RJ Tanaka (2017). Mathematical modelling of Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization, invasive infection and treatment. Front. Physiol., 8:115.

Published by  Swammerdam Institute