Elisa Domínguez Hüttinger
I am passionate about studying developmental and pathological processes from a systems biology perspective. Since my undergraduate studies, I became interested in understanding how physiological phenotypic transformations of cells and tissues emerge naturally from complex interplays between metabolites, signaling molecules, transcription factors and microenvironments, and how alterations of these regulatory networks by genetic and environmental factors result in the onset and progression of complex diseases. To tackle these questions, I use a systems biology approach which combines experimental, mathematical and computational approaches to study biological systems from a quantitative, integrative and dynamical perspective. In collaboration with clinical and experimental research groups, I have developed mathematical models that represent the regulatory networks controlling tissue function, validated and calibrated these models with experimental data from the literature and from collaborators, and systematically evaluated the effects of different risk factors and treatments on the disease onset and progression. With this integrative and multi-disciplinary approach, we have uncovered mechanisms underlying the onset and progression of complex diseases, dissected the role of different risk factors, alone or in combination, in the pathogenic process, validated strategies for prevention of disease progression, and designed, optimized and personalized treatment strategies.