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Mathematical Models of Transcription in Physiological Processes


Speaker: Richard Yamada, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Thu, Jan 20 2011, 4:10AM

Transcription is the first step in gene expression and the process where most regulation of gene expression occurs. In this talk, we explore the mathematics of transcription in various physiological processes. First, we discuss a chemical kinetic model of the elongation dynamics of transcription. The proposed mathematical model governs the discrete movement of the RNA polymerase along a DNA strand. Parameter estimation methods to compare the model's output to experimental data will be addressed. Next we explore the role of transcription in circadian clocks. Using a detailed model of mammalian circadian clocks, we show the importance of molecular noise in the absence of a core transcriptional activator during time-keeping. Surprisingly, when noisy cells are coupled together in network, collective rhythms begin to emerge. We hypothesize that transcription noise acts to kickstart rhythms in the entire suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) network. We end with a discussion of the mathematics of noise and oscillators.

Refreshments will be served at 3:45 p.m. in the Alder Room.