Has Neo-Darwinism failed clinical medicine: Does systems biology have to?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this essay I argue that Neo-Darwinism ultimately led to an oversimplified genotype equals phenotype view of human disease. This view has been called into question by the unexpected results of the Human Genome Project which has painted a far more complex picture of the genetic features of human disease than was anticipated. Cell centric Systems Biology is now attempting to reconcile this complexity. However, it too is limited because most common chronic diseases have systemic components not predicted by their intracellular responses alone. In this context, congestive heart failure is a classic example of this general problem and I discuss it as a systemic disease vs. one solely related to dysfunctional cardiomyocytes. I close by arguing that a physiological perspective is essential to reconcile reductionism with what is required to understand and treat disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Homeostasis
  • Integration
  • Multi-scale
  • Physiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Has Neo-Darwinism failed clinical medicine: Does systems biology have to?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this