Apr 4, 2021
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The digital twin of the disease. Medicine becomes personalized

Disease digital twins, biomedical big data analysis, personalized treatment of even poorly understood hereditary diseases, gene therapy and editing it is no longer science fiction, but modern medicine.

In order for such innovative technologies to be introduced into clinical practice, in Russia, as part of the implementation of national project “Science and Universities” four world-class scientific centers (NTSMU) were created. Here, scientists carry out research and development on the priorities of the scientific and technological development of the Russian Federation, so that domestic medicine reaches a qualitatively new level.

NCMU “Digital Biodesign and Personalized Health Care” this is a large-scale project for digitalization of medicine and health management. The consortium includes the First Moscow State Medical University. I. M. Sechenov, Institute for System Programming named after V.P. Ivannikov, Novgorod State University named after V.P. Yaroslav the Wise (NovSU), Research Institute of Biomedical Chemistry named after V.I. V. N. Orekhovich, Institute of Design and Technological Informatics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The main result of the activities of the NCMU will be the world’s first single large database, combining indicators of functional significance, bioinformatics, genomic and drug monitoring. There will also be a unique technological platform for creating “digital twins of the disease” that will allow doctors to predict the course, development, treatment and outcome of the disease. Another result of the work of the NCMU will be a system for effective prediction of treatment and selection of individual therapy based on simulation of processes.

The activities of the NCMU will allow bringing medicine to a qualitatively new level. Innovative developments will be introduced into practical medicine, which will improve the quality of services provided.

As part of the activities of the NCMU, 200 events are planned to achieve the key indicators of the national project “Science and Universities”. 170 researchers will be involved in the work, 40% of which young scientists. 500 young professionals from all over the country will be able to undergo training and internships. It is planned that over 650 highly rated scientific papers will be published during the work of the NCMU.

On March 30, 2021, declared the Year of Science and Technology in Russia, the Medical Informatics laboratory was created at the Novgorod State University on the basis of the Digital Biodesign and Personalized Healthcare Center. A unique interdisciplinary research team will be formed in the laboratory, capable of participating in the most effective way in the implementation of the goals of the NCMU. NTSMU “Center for Personalized Medicine” will become a research and production biomedical ecosystem. The consortium includes the National Medical Research Center. V. A. Almazov of the Ministry of Health of Russia and the Institute of Experimental Medicine. The main goal of the NCMU development and implementation into practice of technologies for diagnostics and treatment of diseases based on personalized medicine.

New methods will include genetic risk assessment, biomodelling of diseases, genome modification. In addition, on the basis of the NCMU, it is planned to create drugs for gene therapy, as well as biomedical cell products using genomic editing technologies. The developments of the NCMU will contribute to improving the quality of treatment of cardiovascular diseases and concomitant metabolic disorders, a number of oncological and infectious diseases, as well as diseases of a genetic nature, including rare and poorly studied.

In the Year of Science and Technology in Russia, on the basis of the National Center for Medical Sciences, Competence Center “Hereditary, rare and poorly studied diseases.” Among its main tasks improving the level of diagnosis and treatment of genetic diseases, promoting research on their etiology, studying their pathophysiological, cellular, biological and molecular mechanisms. Scientists at the NCMU will also be engaged in the development of targeted therapy methods: it blocks the growth of cancer cells by interfering with specific target (targeted) molecules required for tumor growth, and does not interfere with the multiplication of all rapidly dividing cells, as traditional chemotherapy does. An interdisciplinary team is formed within the Competence Center, with the involvement of innovative solutions in the field of IT technologies.

NCMU “National Center for Personalized Medicine of Endocrine Diseases” created on the basis of the National Medical Research Center of Endocrinology of the Ministry of Health of Russia. Its main tasks creation of a system of personalized treatment and training. Fundamental research carried out on the basis of the existing institutes of the NMIC of endocrinology will be expanded with new laboratories. So, to integrate artificial intelligence technologies into clinical practice, a bioinformatics laboratory was created at the end of March on the basis of the NCMU. Laboratory plans development of methods for personalized patient management and algorithms for analyzing large biomedical data.

In addition to the laboratory of biofinformatics, laboratories of general, molecular and population genetics, genome editing, mathematical and digital technologies, non-invasive technologies for diagnosing endocrinopathies, cellular technologies, metabolic imaging and radiotherapy will open at the NCMU. To fulfill ambitious fundamental tasks, it is necessary to develop a new system for training specialists. For this, the NCMU will train personnel in the field of genetics, transcriptomics, biostatistics and bioinformatics. Modern specialists will work at the intersection of experimental and clinical endocrinology, which will ensure the transit of innovative technologies into clinical practice.

The fourth world-class scientific center dealing with the problems of modern medicine has become Pavlovsk Center “Integrative Physiology medicine, high-tech healthcare and stress-resilience technologies “… The consortium includes the Institute of Physiology. IP Pavlova RAS, Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry named after I.P. I. M. Sechenov RAS, Institute of Biomedical Problems RAS, St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University “LETI”. Integrative physiology studies the functioning of the body as a whole examines each individual component of the body as a part integrated into a complete system. This direction is especially relevant today, since the most common chronic diseases (cancer, neurological and cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract) are complex in nature. There is currently no clear world leader in integrative physiology. This is due to the focusing of most research around the world on the underlying mechanisms of individual physiological processes.

Creation of NCMU the basis for the emergence of such a world leader in Russia. An integral part of the physiological research of the NCMU is the study of stress. It shows the most coordinated interaction of body systems and allows you to explore the mechanisms underlying this interaction. In addition, stress research can help scientists assess the body’s reserve capacity. In March, the Pavlovsk Center signed an Agreement with the University of Rouen (France) on the creation of a new Russian-French laboratory under the leadership of the leading scientist of the National Center for Medical Sciences, Professor of the University of Rouen S. Fetisov. The laboratory will be engaged in unique development of new approaches to the regulation of eating behavior, control of appetite and body weight. The passport of the federal project “Development of scientific and scientific-industrial cooperation” provides for the selection of at least 9 world-class scientific centers performing research and development according to the priorities of scientific and technological development. The volume of financial support for the NCMU for the period 2020-2024 is more than 15 billion rubles.

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