Workshop on Stochasticity in Biochemical Reaction Networks (13w2162)


(Harvard University)

(University of Vermont)

(University of California, Berkeley)

(FOM Institute AMOLF)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Workshop on Stochasticity in Biochemical Reaction Networks" workshop from September 13th to September 15th, 2013.

All the chemical processes that are essential for life --- basic metabolism, cell division, cell growth --- are driven on the molecular scale by the random interaction of their chemical constituents. When the number of interactions is relatively small, as is often the case in cells, substantial deviations from the average behavior can be observed in the population --- in the same way that the fraction of heads when flipping a coin may deviate substantially from one half if it is flipped only a few times. Processes that have this sort of non-deterministic outcome are called ``stochastic.'' Understanding how stochastic variation affects cellular behaviors and uncovering how biological processes can either exploit or minimize this variability has implications for many areas of research, from human disease and regenerative medicine, to molecular computing and nanotechnology.

This workshop unites researchers from across these fields to share insights into the role and control of stochasticity in biochemical systems. They will share new mathematical, statistical, and quantitative experimental techniques to help us understand and make predictions about stochastic biological systems. Developing a mathematical understanding of the stochastic behaviors of life will be a key chapter in the Mathematics of Planet Earth.

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).