Network medicine

Point of contact

  • Alexandre Chapoutot, ENSTA Paris
  • Franck Delaplace, IBISC, UEVE


Network medicine is an emerging domain of precision medicine analysing disease through the lens of network science. Biological networks provide a systems-level understanding of molecular processes based on molecular interaction study. The objective is to provide a comprehensive holistic understanding of the perturbations entailed by diseases where the causes of diseases are assimilated to disturbances affecting the molecular interactions. Hence, cells are envisioned as complex webs of macromolecular interactions forming the interactome where the nodes are metabolites, proteins, genes and their RNA transcripts while the edges are the biochemical interactions. Fundamentally, network medicine constitutes a novel paradigm for linking phenotypes to the underlying molecular processes (genotypes) through the study of their interactions.

The network framework then allows to integrate large scale multi-omics and phenotypic data, in order to gain insights into disease mechanisms, and to support drug design and tailoring treatments to patients. This approach enables to sustain discovery of novel clinically actionable knowledge for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prediction. More generally, the integrative view provided by networks constitutes a tool for multi-scale analysis in health sciences, from molecules to ecosystems.

The challenges are
  • Reappraisal of disease taxonomy based on interactome analysis;
  • functional modules (groups of nodes) identification based on static analysis;
  • dynamical network analysis for deciphering both the disease mechanisms, and the effect of drug administration;
  • network controllability study to investigate induced cell fate deviations for purposefully reaching some expected outcomes regarded as healthy state;
  • Network-based ecosystem study.


network medicine, biological networks, diagnosis, prediction

Researchers involved or interested

A few references

  • Albert-László Barabási, Natali Gulbahce, and Joseph Loscalzo. “Network medicine: a network-based approach to human disease”. In: Nature reviews genetics 12.1 (2011), pp. 56–68.
  • Laurel Yong Hwa Lee and Joseph Loscalzo. “Network Medicine in Pathobiology”. In: American Journal of Pathology 189.7 (2019), pp. 1311–1326. ISSN: 1525219
  • Network Medicine. N.p., Harvard University Press, 2017.