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Content archived on 2024-06-16

An integrative approach to cellular signalling and control processes: Bringing computational biology to the bench


It is increasingly being recognised that progress of modern day biology will require the understanding and harnessing the network of interactions between genes and proteins and the functional systems that they generate. Given the complexity of even the most primitive living organism, and our still very limited knowledge, it is unreasonable to expect that we might, in the near or even medium term, reach such understanding the level of an entire cell. However, significant progress towards a system-level understanding should be achievable by applying an integrated approach to the analysis of a set of well defined and biologically important cellular process. Our project aims to bring computer models and simulations to the experimental community. To do so we will focus on two systems that involve different aspects of Biological systems: Networks and Self-organization and we will apply different simulation approximations to both of them. This will enable us both to identify the modelling and simulation strategies that are better suited for a particular experimental problem. The present 3-year project combines a unique group of experimentalists, bioinformaticians and simulation groups in order to gain detailed understanding of key processes: the P53-MDM2 regulatory network and the self organization process whereby chromatin controls microtubule nucleation and organization. A major objective will be to benchmark the ability of current modelling and simulation methods to generate useful hypothesis for experimentalists and to provide new insights into biological processes of realistic complexity. The expected result will be a set of guidelines, specifying which and how simulation methods should be used, given the problem at hand. This should make a fundamental contribution to the area of functional genomics, and provide ways for elucidating the mechanisms of action of pharmacological compounds.

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Participants (8)