Mathematical models and their associated computer simulations are nowadays widely used in several research fields, such as natural sciences, engineering, as well as social sciences. In the context of systems biology, they provide a rigorous way to investigate how complex regulatory pathways are connected and how the disruption of these processes may contribute to the develop- ment of a disease, ultimately investigating the suitability of specific molecules as novel therapeutic targets. In the last decade, the launching of the precision medicine initiative has motivated the necessity to define innovative computational techniques that could be used for customizing therapies. In this context, the combination of mathematical models and computer strategies is an essential tool for biologists, which can analyze complex system pathways, as well as for the pharmaceutical industry, which is involved in promoting programs for drug discovery. In this dissertation, we explore different modeling techniques that are used for the simulation and the analysis of complex biological systems. We analyze the state of the art for simulation algorithms both in the stochastic and in the deterministic frameworks. The same dichotomy has been studied in the context of sensitivity analysis, identifying the main pros and cons of the two approaches. Moreover, we studied the quantitative system pharmacology (QSP) modeling approach that elucidates the mechanism of action of a drug on the biological processes underlying a disease. Specifically, we present the definition, calibration and validation of a QSP model describing Gaucher disease type 1 (GD1), one of the most common lysosome storage rare disorders. All of these techniques are finally combined to define a novel computational pipeline for patient stratification. Our approach uses modeling techniques, such as model simulations, sensitivity analysis and QSP modeling, in combination with experimental data to identify the key mechanisms responsible for the stratification. The pipeline has been applied to three test cases in different biological contexts: a whole-body model of dyslipidemia, the QSP model of GD1 and a QSP model of cardiac electrophysiology. In these test cases, the pipeline proved to be accurate and robust, allowing the interpretation of the mechanistic differences underlying the phenotype classification.
Modeling Startegies for Computational Systems Biology / Simoni, Giulia. - (2020 Mar 20), pp. 1-242.
|Titolo:||Modeling Startegies for Computational Systems Biology|
|Anno di pubblicazione:||2020-03-20|
|Struttura:||Dipartimento di Matematica|
|Corso di dottorato:||Mathematics|
|Tutor esterno:||Marchetti, Luca|
|Tesi in cotutela:||no|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.15168/11572_254361|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||08.1 Tesi di dottorato (Doctoral Thesis)|
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|phd_unitn_giulia_simoni_def.pdf||Tesi di dottorato (Doctoral Thesis)||Tutti i diritti riservati (All rights reserved)||Embargo: 20/03/2022|