UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Multiomics and Systems Biology Are Needed to Unravel the Complex Origins of Chronic Disease Martino, David; Ben-Othman, Rym; Harbeson, Danny; Bosco, Anthony


Modernization has now been linked to poor developmental experience, the onset of immune dysregulation and rising rates of chronic diseases in many parts of the world. Research across the epidemiological, clinical, and basic science domains supports the concept that poor developmental experience, particularly during prenatal life, can increase the risk of chronic disease, with enduring effects on long-term health. Single ‘omics’ approaches are ill-suited to dealing with the level of complexity that underpins immune dysregulation in early life. A more comprehensive systems-level view is afforded by combining multiple ‘omics’ datasets in order to delineate correlations across multiple resolutions of the genome, and of the genomes of the microorganisms that inhabit us. In this concept paper, we discuss multiomic approaches to studying immune dysregulation and highlight some of the challenges and opportunities afforded by this new domain of medical science.

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