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Dissecting and engineering information processing at multiple levels in cellular networks

Prof. J. Krishnan, Imperial College, London
Prof. J. Krishnan, Imperial College, London
When Apr 07, 2017
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where LH006
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Abstract: How cells process information to respond to their environment, make decisions and maintain their internal function is central to our understanding of living systems. The dissecting of such information processing and their manipulation are major themes of research, falling under the respective umbrellas of systems biology and synthetic biology. This involves the confluence of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering. In this talk, I will discuss a range of challenges involved in these areas. I will start with a broad overview, highlighting some of the substantial challenges involved, and give a flavour of the diversity of problems at different levels. I will then discuss three topics. The first has to do with biochemical networks which maintain homeostasis/exhibit adaptation. Here the output of such networks at steady state is independent (or essentially independent) of the input.

I will discuss the response of such networks in dynamic environments/stimuli. The second has to do with modularity of networks. Biochemical modules which exhibit multistability, oscillations, switch like behaviour and adaptation have been encountered in multiple contexts in cellular networks. Yes they are typically studied in isolation. I will discuss a framework which allows us to bridge the gap between a module in isolation and as part of a network. In the last part of the work, I will focus on the spatial organization of biochemical networks, and how that impacts their behaviour and information processing therein. In each case I will introduce any biological background (no prior biological background is necessary) and discuss both theoretical challenges and how they connect with understanding natural cellular systems, or engineering them.

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