COSBI wins international competition on diagnostic biomarkers


SBV Improver challenge

COSBI took part in the SBV Improver challenge, a joint initiative of IBM Research and Philip Morris International: we placed 1st in the Multiple Sclerosis sub-challenge, and 2nd overall (out of 52 teams). Mario Lauria, researcher at COSBI, studies the genomic markers (biomarkers) for the identification of the "signature" of pathological conditions at the level of gene expression. For many years it has been observed that starting from a "photograph" of the expression levels of all genes of the human genome over 30 thousand obtained for a tissue of interest, and comparing such data relating to a certain pathology of patients with those of healthy individuals , it is possible to obtain a marker specific for the pathology examined. However, to date the definition of the method of detection of the marker, and its use to identify healthy patients and those suffering from the disease are still to be finalized and are subject of intense research in the international arena. Mario Lauria has demonstrated the validity of the COSBI method in direct comparison with the methods recommended by over fifty international research groups in the course of a real scientific challenge. The rigorous comparison between different methods of identifying markers is a sensitive topic: in addition to technical difficulties (for example due to the size of the data, and the dependence of the result of the method used for comparison), you add the image damage caused by at least one case of fraudulent conduct involving researchers of international standing that has undermined public confidence in the institutions and to the results of research on the markers.

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