Advances in Theoretical and Experimental Methods for Analyzing Complex Regulatory Networks (20w5162)


(Johns Hopkins University)

(Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

(University of Toronto)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Advances in Theoretical and Experimental Methods for Analyzing Complex Regulatory Networks" workshop in Banff from February 16 to February 21, 2020.

The process of expressing genes in a cell is noisy and random. A colony of bacteria grown from a single cell will show remarkable differences in the number of copies per cell of all proteins after only a few generations. Variation in these copy numbers can lead to dramatic differences in decisions made by the individual cells, such as which types of food they should look for or if they should prepare against an attack of antibiotics. Here we propose to assemble leading theoretical, computational and experimental biological physicists in order to review recent advances in mathematical and computational models as well as experiments, of how the variation or "noise" in the protein copy numbers affects these decisions. We believe that these types of models and experiments are critical to the understanding at a fundamental level of how cells make decisions. The fundamental concepts we will review regarding noise in genetic systems have many practical implications for engineering new or existing genetic systems for societal needs, such as biofuel production and improving human health.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).