From Molecules to Public Health
Lauren Becnel, Baylor College of Medicine
The central dogma of molecular biology held that DNA encodes RNA that in turn encodes proteins. Other factors key to cellular function and diversity are at play, such as epigenetics where gene expression patterns are controlled by molecular “switches” instead of DNA alone, exotic RNAs that do not encode proteins, and others. The contributions of these molecules to health or disease in individuals and cohorts of people is being defined though molecular epidemiology and population health studies that link so-called ‘omics data to large medical imaging files, data from national health and death registry systems, electronic medical records, social networks and other systems. This talk will provide an overview to these concepts and leading biomedical big data initiatives.