Fernán Agüero PhD Assistant Professor, University of San Martín, Independent Research Fellow, National Research Council
About me. I am a Biologist by training, with a PhD in Chemistry and postdoctoral training in Genomics and Bioinformatics. I have studied parasite biology for >20 years, focusing on different aspects (biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics) and using different approaches (experimental bench work, bioinformatics) over time. I also have an interest in teaching and training of human resources, and in the promotion of Bioinformatics. I teach a Computational Biology and Bioinformatics course for both graduate and undergraduate students, and am a founding member of the Argentinian Society for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (A2B2C).
Driving discovery of drugs and diagnostics in infectious diseases through data integration
The availability of genomic and a diverse array of genome-wide functional data for pathogens that cause tropical and neglected diseases has created new opportunities for the discovery and development of new drugs and diagnostics. Also, the availability of chemical information has increased recently, with the advent of public domain chemical resources and the open release of data from high throughput screening assays. However, to fully exploit these opportunities, all data must be effectively integrated and be easy to interrogate. The goal of databases and other bioinformatics resources is to provide this much-needed data integration. In our laboratory, we have invested a significant effort to the task of data integration, which serves as the main foundation for our research. As a result, we have contributed to the development of a number of bioinformatics resources, like the TDR Targets (tdrtargets.org) [1,2] and the TcSNP (snps.tcruzi.org)  databases. Integrated data allows the formulation of powerful and relevant questions across whole genomes. In this presentation, I will summarize a number of strategies that were enabled by careful data integration, and how these led to the prioritization of drug targets [4,5] and the discovery of different type of diagnostic markers [6-9]. Also, I will discuss how large-scale approaches based on high-density peptide microarrays are changing the landscape of diagnostic discovery for Chagas Disease [8-9].