Professor Alfredo Ferro, University of Catania, miRNA-sensitive Topological Pathway Analysis and Simulation with Applications to High-Precision Medicine

event date: 28 June 2019

The Centre of New Technologies invites to a seminar by

Professor Alfredo Ferro

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

University of Catania

Computational pathway analysis and simulation in cancer

Date: June, 28th(Friday), 2019 at 12 p.m.

Venue: Centre of New Technologies, Banacha 2C,
Lecture Hall 0142 (Ground floor)

Host: Dr. Marta Dudek


The key role of microRNAs and other ncRNAs in many biological processes, functions and diseases has been widely demonstrated. Their diagnostic and therapeutic potential is being exploited as one of the most promising directions. Bioinformatics and in-silico analysis are playing a key role in this context. In this talk we survey a novel series of techniques developed by our group to improve this methodology by computing “perturbation” of pathways and their endpoints using a topology-based approach. Starting from gene/microRNA expressions (coming from NGS or other techniques) our algorithms are able to produce the list of most perturbed pathways corresponding to a given phenotype. Furthermore, our tools are able to extract the local areas of biological pathways which might represent more accurately the biology underlying a patient condition or a specific phenotype. Finally, the same algorithms can be used to simulate the alteration of a set of molecules in a given organism. Application to cancer biology will be illustrated. Finally, a synthetic biology technique to design target-specific artificial microRNA will be mentioned.