ABSTRACT: The twentieth century was marked by extraordinary advances in our understanding of microbes and infectious disease, but pandemics remain, food and waterborne illnesses are frequent, multidrug-resistant microbes are on the rise, and the needed drugs and vaccines have not been developed. The scientific approaches of the past-including the intense focus on individual genes and proteins typical of molecular biology-have not been sufficient to address these challenges. The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen remarkable innovations in technology and computational methods. These new tools provide nearly comprehensive views of complex biological systems and can provide a correspondingly deeper understanding of pathogen-host interactions. To take full advantage of these innovations, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently initiated the Systems Biology Program for Infectious Disease Research. As participants of the Systems Biology Program, we think that the time is at hand to redefine the pathogen-host research paradigm.
mBio 01/2011; 2(1):e00325-10. · 5.31 Impact Factor