Kitney: Opening Remarks

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Kitney: Opening Remarks
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well good afternoon I'm Richard kitni I'm probably Imperial College in London I'm the co-director with Paul Fremont who's sitting here in the front row of our synthetic biology hub as we call it which currently has about 130 people in it so it's quite a big operation nowadays which pool and I've built up this afternoon session is primarily about medical applications and I've been asked to say a few words by way of introduction so what I thought i would do is to just slightly broaden out the topic to sort of bracket in a way what people are going to say and talk a little bit about synthetic biology and biotech and so I thought I'd start off with a couple of quotations from this afternoon speakers here where the key thing here is that basically since the 15th century what this what's a multi fish nagar is saying is that the basic treatment strategies will remain pretty much unchanged more or less until today when we're now starting to consider into the interdependence of these pathophysiology in terms of major diseases of the 21st century like diabetes and cardiovascular disease and i'll come back to cardiovascular disease in a few minutes i'm also comment from one of our other speakers this afternoon one of the major aims of synthetic biology is to design microorganisms with novel capabilities that can be applied for the developer new vaccines diagnostics sensors therapeutic interventions for major diseases such as cancer and again I'm going to talk a little bit about that but I've the other speakers or the speakers rather will be talking about this in more detail so I wanted to start off by by way of introduction here by talking about shaping the evolution of healthcare and this is something that so I worked on for many years actually before we really even got involved in synthetic biology and there are a number of changes which have occurred in terms of health care over the last 20 or 30 years we've moved from the environments of day support to an environment where we have data rich we move from patient homogeneity where clinicians typically considered patients to be homogeneous groups to individual risk and assessments risk assessment and treatment selection we moved from intervention against clinically evident disease to disease Protection Act prevention and finally in many advanced countries we moved effectively for a fragmented delivery system for healthcare to integrated network same continuity of care so these are some of the significant changes which are occurred in healthcare for me one of the most important dates in terms I mean obviously it's a continuum but one of the most important dates was two thousand one with the initial publication of the initial sequencing of the human genome obviously in nature which everybody in the room will be familiar with this paper but from a healthcare point of view many observers see this as being effectively the dawn of molecular based medicine and that's I think is a in a way a key benchmark we work in synthetic biology but from a medical point of view you can also think of this state as being potentially the dawn of molecular based medicine so in terms of this new medicine nowadays many people to work in general applications of biology and physiology to to healthcare now begin to think of not simply healthcare at different individual levels in what I cause you see in a moment since we published this in 2008 the biological continuum but looking across the different levels of the biological continuum and incidentally this is obviously an image of the double here so um a couple of I'll get on to talking about the molecular basis of this in a moment but I wanted to just talk in a couple of slides just about the other big developments occurred in medicine which is visualization and imaging and the fact that they're all these different methods of imaging including the example are going to show you which is cryo p.m. with cryo-em now and this is a slide actually from five or six years ago you can take commercial commercial here micrograph you can then reconstruct in three dimensions as a service rendered volume and that allows you actually when you do a pseudo color to pull out some things like the actin filaments the ones in red complexes they're the ones shown in green here as it says here prymaat are mostly ribosomes and the membranes in blue so you can get these exquisite images even at this level but also now answer even more refined levels of the biological continuum but the other key development which is I think primarily what we're focusing on this afternoon is essentially a mixed agents the idea that so different types of omics data resulted in high-throughput science with microwaves Joe lecture and flurry sees a lot of data comes into the lab every day flow cytometry etc and so when I think about all this data and indeed information coming into that coming in traditionally one thinks about the upper levels of the what I call the biological continuum so systems viscera and tissues but in terms of next steps which is what we're all potentially working on we have to think about the lower levels of the biological continuum cell protein a gene level but also how this from a healthcare point of view how this rate it relates to what we called here in this paper in 2008 the the care continuum so not only primary secondary and tertiary care but also totally care and home care and so now for a healthcare point of view we're beginning to see and I for a few years was on the board one of the main hospital was in London and I've observed the development of health care much more into these areas in terms of integration so if we now think about some synthetic biology when we think about synthetic biology at Imperial we think about systematic design and Paul may have touched on this the other day but we see this very much as the basis of engineering biology so from our point of view synthetic biology is very much about the engineering of biology and systematic design you can break down into these major if you like principles components modularization standardization and characterization linked to being able to control the complexity of the biology according to human design that's the aim of the systematic design but also a big trend if you like within the UK but also in other parts of the European community is the whole issue about responsible research innovation another key area in terms of our strategy is the application of the design cycle starting from the specification is going through desired modeling building testing and validation and then learning and debugging so this is a variant on the design-build tests paradigm that is widely used within synthetic ecology so in many ways the vision is that so many drugs which are currently available are based upon known theoretic properties therapeutic properties of various types of plants and jim has loved probably talking about some of this tomorrow but so we believe within synthetic biology it will be you we can use synthetic biology to engineer synthetic versions and also synthetic biology devices for the detection of various types of infections so these are two examples of the vision with incident that apology okay so many drugs are currently available and they're based one know in therapeutic probe their therapeutic properties but there is a problem and that is since 1975 where the average spend of rd profits within say GSK one of those large drug companies was about five percent today it is at least twenty two percent so the cost is going up and today the average time for a drug to get some market is 11 years and when you think of that in an industrial context where you've only got what a maximum of about 20 years that doesn't in terms of patents that doesn't leave a lot of time so the perceived solution to this is well a few years ago sive solutions mergers bigger is better combinatorial chemistry computational chemistry all of these were areas that big pharma worked on but now there is the developments would focus I would say much more genomics and also developing focus on synthetic biology techniques and this is all about the realization and personalized drugs to develop the therapeutic properties of these drugs that they have low or no side effects and the the vision here is that synthetic biology will aim to allow the optimization of existing production processes and the design of new processes and we are very very involved in that through our industrial translation center so here are some examples of medical applications a number of these will be discussed this afternoon okay the long-term vision not the long-term vision but a long-term vision is for example the use of biosensors which probably reason I within the body to detect particular types of web normality example arterial disease and cancer and for another example is the extension of the concept of highly adaptive vaccines and antibiotics so that as I say here the vaccine for example can rapidly adapt to kill a particular type of influenza and we're actually seeing that coming through now even industrially so one example of this is arterial disease when I talked about this and we got a nice row down the middle here I usually say about 50% the room i'm going to die from this so you know it's a pretty important thing you have to work out which side you're on but you know here's the arterial plaque typically nowadays what we do is to diagnose the arterial plaque release one method of diagnosing the arterial plaque plug which is used quite a lot is to use arterial catheters catheters with ultrasound on them so you can image the plaque but the developing ideas here are can we use synthetic biology biosensors and the possible in situ what I've said manufacturer of plant busting drugs but as you will see the moments there could be an alternative strategy here and the alternative strategy is to use nano cages where we building a biosensor which has a detector and amplifier and then feeding through to control which controls the Nano cage that nella cages are hollow cage which you protein no case which you can actually control in terms of opening and closing and put in there for example a clot-busting drugs so that that's part of the basic strategy if you extend that almost finish if you extend that this brings in the need for biologic which I'll explain in a moment and one of the things that we've done over a number of years is to develop a series of different types of logic gates so here's one example of one of our and gates so I'm sure everybody in the room knows that the basis of any computer logic gates and here we have biological logic gates that's been extended more recently in terms of our working to developments of what's called a half adder and we're now moving quite well towards more sophisticated biologically based computing based on biological logic gates and so this will lead to various applications so things like counters calculators and micro processors in the longer times in the near term more sophisticated biosensors and are possibly for interest city for control and signaling so here's an example of work that we've been working on which is developing these biosensors to be able to detect carcinoma within within the liver and using the biosensors to detect carcinogen to detect cancerous cells as shown here it turns out that some in order to detect the cells it's not optimal to simply have one channel in the biosensor so this is where the logic comes in the potential this is potential not reality to be able to have a series of inputs which then go through biological circuitry of biological secretary to control the release of in the case of cancer a psycho toxic drug and so I think within the medical context what we are seeing is a fairly rapid developments I would argue from conventional medicine through to molecular based medicine so that's a quick introduction to try and give you these some some of the views that I hold in terms of medical applications so I think you now need to move on to the first speaker in this afternoon's presentations which is Nico