Applied Systems Biology Core


Matthias Kretzler, MD
ASBC Director

The emerging field of systems biology aims to integrate constantly growing complex biological information to provide a comprehensive description of regulatory events. This approach has been greatly facilitated by the rapid development of molecular medicine allowing the generation of large-scale data sets from minute patient samples.   

The primary goal of the Applied Systems Biology Core (ASBC) is to provide a platform, using a data analysis pipeline, for integrative data mining of comprehensive renal disease gene expression data sets:

  1. To define molecular characteristics/features in the circulation or kidney and associate them with known disease phenotypes so as to obtain a better understanding of the pathophysiology of a specific renal disease
  2. To identify markers of disease progression and treatment response (referred to as biomarkers)

Those are essential steps to identify individualized therapeutic targets. Systems genetics approaches can also be employed to define regulatory dependencies between genotypic risk, molecular profiles and phenotypic parameters.

The ASBC guides Research Investigators in integrating the large-scale data sets from their ongoing research projects in their focused hypotheses, by linking the clinical, genetic, and molecular information with the specific disease knowledge of interest. The combination of both the investigators' insight into specific research areas and expertise of the ASBC in integrative data mining allowing the generation of novel hypothesis and insight into human kidney diseases. As examples, the ASBC has generated expression maps of human and murine kidney diseases.

See: cross-species/diabetic nephropathy and cross-species/lupus nephritis.

The ASBC is comprised of 3 cores:

  1. Core function 1 provides one-on-one assistance using in-person and web-based portal communication for complex research projects
  2. Core function 2 employs semi-structured workflows for data integration into specific functional contexts for scientists with recurrent data analysis needs and limited supervision requirements
  3. Core function 3 employs a web-based search engine and database (Nephroseq) with user-friendly interface to provide fully structured, pre-defined systems biology based search functions

When using any core services you must agree to cite the George M. O’Brien Michigan Kidney Translational Core Center, funded by NIH/NIDDK grant 2P30-DK-081943 in any publications and/or presentations resulting from the use of these core services.

For more information please contact Brandi Gizinski at

To request services please click here.