Mathematics Colloquia and Seminars

Return to Colloquia & Seminar listing

Deconstructing Complex Biological Models in System Design Space

GGAM Colloquium

Speaker: Michael A. Savageau, UC Davis Biomedical Engineering
Location: 1147 MSB
Start time: Fri, Nov 16 2012, 4:10PM

Achieving predictive understanding of complex nonlinear systems, such as those manifested at various levels of biological organization, represents an enormous challenge.The task could be facilitated if such a system could be generically decomposed into a series of tractable subsystems and the results of their analysis reassembled to provide insight into the original system.I will describe an approach in which the subsystems are integrated into a system design space that allows qualitatively distinct phenotypes of the complex system to be rigorously defined and counted, their relative fitness to be analyzed and compared, their global tolerance to be measured, and their biological design principles to be identified. I will illustrate the approach in the context of the ‘genotype-phenotype’ question for a couple of simple well-studied systems. Although this effort has been the focus of recent biological work in my lab, I believe that this methodology has application beyond biology. I will conclude by discussing the extent to which this approach might be generalized to other classes of nonlinear models and touching on a number of mathematical issues that need to be further explored and extended.

Friday, November 16, 2012
Mathematical Sciences Building, Room 1147
4:10-5:00p (Seminar)
5:00-7:00p (Beer & Wine Reception)