Complexity loss in disease and aging: is there a "Theory of Everything Pathologic"?

20 February 2009

Ary Goldberger
Division of Interdisciplinary Medicine and Biotechnology, BIDMC
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University


A central challenge of contemporary biomedicine is to understand more fully the basic mechanisms underlying healthy dynamics and their changes with aging and disease. Central to the success of this enterprise is the development of computational tools and mathematical models that represent the "real-world" behavior of the integrative system across many scales, under both spontaneous ("free-running") and perturbed conditions. We are developing the conceptual construct that healthy dynamics – those with the highest functionality and adaptability – are the most complex and that complexity (distinct from variability) degrades with aging and disease. A new class of dynamical assays may be used to monitor health status and the aging process and to assess the safety and efficacy of therapeutic interventions.



current theory lunch schedule