Predicting the future: towards symbiotic computational and experimental angiogenesis research
Understanding the fundamental organisational principles underlying the complex and multilayered process of angiogenesis is the mutual aim of both the experimental and theoretical angiogenesis communities. Surprisingly, these two fields have in the past developed in near total segregation, with neither fully benefiting from the other. However, times are changing and here we report on the new direction that angiogenesis research is taking, where from well-integrated collaborations spring new surprises, experimental predictions and research avenues. We show that several successful ongoing collaborations exist in the angiogenesis field and analyse what aspects of their approaches led them to achieve novel and impactful biological insight. We conclude that there are common elements we can learn from for the future, and provide a list of guidelines to building a successful collaborative venture. Specifically, we find that a near symbiosis of computation with experimentation reaps the most impactful results by close cyclical feedback and communication between the two disciplines resulting in continual refinement of models, experimental directions and our understanding. We discuss high impact examples of predictive modelling from the wider, more established integrated scientific domains and conclude that the angiogenesis community can do nothing but benefit from joining this brave new, integrated world.