May 7, 2018
Noun | plex·ome | \ˈplek-ˌsōm\
Wondering what Plexome means?
Heard of terms such as genome and proteome? Most people have heard of one or the other if not both, and there is a growing familiarity with other ‘-omes’ as well, such as metabolome, transcriptome, and so on. Each one of these areas is a rapidly evolving domain, and each one of them is providing the healthcare community with amazing insights into how the human body works and how each individual human is different in terms of how a disease will progress or how well they will react to a specific treatment.
And while we have a slew of molecularly-driven 'omic' sciences helping us understand the human biology better, there are also huge advances in how advanced clinical imaging methods are helping us improve our diagnostic and prognostic accuracy through the emerging field of radiomics. In parallel, we continue to gain greater recognition into how external environmental factors impact our cellular and physiological processes, and how small organisms within us influence our health and treatment as well – in other words ranging from the external biome around us to the microbiome within us.
So yes, there are a lot of ‘omes’ that impact us, our health and the healthcare that we should receive.
But all the sciences in the world wouldn’t be of much use without the network of collaborators in the research community and the healthcare system working together to deliver upon the promise of bringing new discoveries to the point of patient care. The network of institutions and individuals involved in this process is astonishing – pre-clinical programs, research institutions, industry partners, biobanks, health systems, and a plethora of individuals all along the way who need to collaborate to make this promise a reality. Merriam-Webster defines plexus as “an interwoven combination of parts or elements in a structure or system”. This intricate network of institutions and individuals - or the research-clinical plexus - is the plumbing through which all the knowledge of the ‘omes’ needs to pass through to create a continuous learning system that brings new discoveries to the bedside and into daily patient care. In other words, the plexus of ‘omes’ --- the Plexome.