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MU researcher uses AI for studying large amounts of biological data | Local

MU researchers are using artificial intelligence to analyze large amounts of biological data for developing new drug therapies to treat cancer and other diseases.

Graph neural network is the type of artificial intelligence researchers are using to analyze data generated from studying protein dynamics, according to a news release from the MU News Bureau.

MU researcher Dong Xu said in the news release that this approach can provide new ways to identify target sites on proteins for drug therapies to work effectively.

“With machine learning we can really study what are the important interactions within different areas of the protein structure,” Xu said.

This method provides a “systematic review” of the all data involved when analyzing proteins, which could help identify any possible effects of its mutations, he said.

The same artificial intelligence was previously used to study how NBA players move their bodies during a game.

“They can also simulate how proteins can change in relation to different conditions, such as the development of cancer, and then use that information to infer their relationships with other bodily functions,” Xu said.

Xu is also an investigator at the Bond Life Sciences Center and a Curators’ Distinguished Professor at the College of Engineering. The full study was published in Nature Communications in March.

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