In Silico Evolution and Reverse Engineering of Gene Regulatory Networks

March 28, 2008
Time: 11:00am-12:00pm
Interschool Lab, 750 CEPSR
Speaker: Daniel Marcbach, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne

Abstract

Reverse engineering and modeling gene regulatory networks is a necessary first step in understanding cells at a system level. We have developed a new approach for reverse engineering gene networks, which consists of using a reconstruction process that is similar to the evolutionary process that created these networks. The aim is to integrate prior knowledge into the reverse engineering procedure, thus biasing the search towards biologically plausible solutions. To this end, we use in silico evolution with a biomimetic genome that abstracts and mimics the natural evolution of gene regulatory networks.

Our method won a gene network reverse engineering challenge of the DREAM2 conference (New York, 2007). In this talk I summarize these results and present our recent work on gene network modeling. Finally, I motivate the use of detailed in silico evolution models to understand the emergence of "design principles" in cellular networks.


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