Putting the “mi” in omics: discovering miRNA biomarkers for pediatric precision care

Chengyin Li, Rhea E. Sullivan, Dongxiao Zhu, Steven D. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Abstract: In the past decade, growing interest in micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) has catapulted these small, non-coding nucleic acids to the forefront of biomarker research. Advances in scientific knowledge have made it clear that miRNAs play a vital role in regulating cellular physiology throughout the human body. Perturbations in miRNA signaling have also been described in a variety of pediatric conditions—from cancer, to renal failure, to traumatic brain injury. Likewise, the number of studies across pediatric disciplines that pair patient miRNA-omics with longitudinal clinical data are growing. Analyses of these voluminous, multivariate data sets require understanding of pediatric phenotypic data, data science, and genomics. Use of machine learning techniques to aid in biomarker detection have helped decipher background noise from biologically meaningful changes in the data. Further, emerging research suggests that miRNAs may have potential as therapeutic targets for pediatric precision care. Here, we review current miRNA biomarkers of pediatric diseases and studies that have combined machine learning techniques, miRNA-omics, and patient health data to identify novel biomarkers and potential therapeutics for pediatric diseases. Impact: In the following review article, we summarized how recent developments in microRNA research may be coupled with machine learning techniques to advance pediatric precision care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-323
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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