Sui Huang, M.D., PhD. First studied medicine, followed by molecular biology and physical chemistry at the University of Zurich in the 1990s. He was a faculty at the Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital in Boston and then at the University of Calgary, conducting studies on cell fate control and tumor angiogenesis. He has championed the embrace of complex systems theory by biomedical research. As a consequence, in the 2000s, he demonstrated experimentally that cell fates are high-dimensional attractors of gene networks, supporting ideas originally proposed by Delbruck, Monod and Jacob, and Stuart Kauffman. More recently, he showed that cell fate decisions are bifurcations, or critical transitions explaining the driving force of cell state change. His current work at the Institute for Systems Biology which he joined in 2011, uses new technologies, including single-cell omics, along with the theory of non-linear stochastic dynamical systems to better understand the dynamics in health and disease, including cancer drug resistance, stem cell differentiation and wellness-disease transitions in Personal Medicine. In the era of big data, he advocates for uniting brute-force artificial intelligence with human reasoning and formal theory to better understand paradoxical phenomena, such as treatment-induced tumor progression, which underlies the inherent constraint in the efficacy of all therapy.
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