• Applications of network-based approaches in drug research
  • Cabrelle, Chiara <1993>


  • CHIM/08 Chimica farmaceutica


  • Recent research trends in computer-aided drug design have shown an increasing interest towards the implementation of advanced approaches able to deal with large amount of data. This demand arose from the awareness of the complexity of biological systems and from the availability of data provided by high-throughput technologies. As a consequence, drug research has embraced this paradigm shift exploiting approaches such as that based on networks. Indeed, the process of drug discovery can benefit from the implementation of network-based methods at different steps from target identification to drug repurposing. From this broad range of opportunities, this thesis is focused on three main topics: (i) chemical space networks (CSNs), which are designed to represent and characterize bioactive compound data sets; (ii) drug-target interactions (DTIs) prediction through a network-based algorithm that predicts missing links; (iii) COVID-19 drug research which was explored implementing COVIDrugNet, a network-based tool for COVID-19 related drugs. The main highlight emerged from this thesis is that network-based approaches can be considered useful methodologies to tackle different issues in drug research. In detail, CSNs are valuable coordinate-free, graphically accessible representations of structure-activity relationships of bioactive compounds data sets especially for medium-large libraries of molecules. DTIs prediction through the random walk with restart algorithm on heterogeneous networks can be a helpful method for target identification. COVIDrugNet is an example of the usefulness of network-based approaches for studying drugs related to a specific condition, i.e., COVID-19, and the same ‘systems-based’ approaches can be used for other diseases. To conclude, network-based tools are proving to be suitable in many applications in drug research and provide the opportunity to model and analyze diverse drug-related data sets, even large ones, also integrating different multi-domain information.


  • 2022-06-17


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Cabrelle, Chiara (2022) Applications of network-based approaches in drug research, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biotecnologiche, biocomputazionali, farmaceutiche e farmacologiche , 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10224.