Dr Ozgur Akman is a Senior Lecturer in the Mathematics department at the University of Exeter, and will be visiting WISB as part of our seminar series on Wednesday 8th November.

Ozgur will speak about his research which could lead to the reverse-engineering of large-scale biochemical networks. If you would like to attend, please email wisb@warwick.ac.uk.

The full abstract for Ozgur’s talk is as follows:

The gene networks that comprise the circadian clock modulate biological function across a range of scales, from gene expression to performance and adaptive behaviour. In recent years, computational models of these networks based on differential equations have become useful tools for quantifying the complex regulatory relationships underlying the clock’s oscillatory dynamics. However, optimising the large parameter sets characteristic of these models places intense demands on both computational and experimental resources, limiting the scope of this approach. In this talk, a complementary approach based on combining Boolean logic with evolutionary optimisation will be introduced that dramatically reduces the parametrisation and computational load, making the state and parameter spaces more tractable. Through the construction of Boolean models fitted to both synthetic and experimental time courses, it will be shown that logic models can reproduce the complex responses to environmental inputs generated by more detailed differential equation formulations. In particular, it will be demonstrated that logic models have sufficient predictive power to identify optimal regulatory structures from experimental data. This suggests that the capacity of logic models to provide a computationally efficient representation of system behaviour could facilitate the reverse-engineering of large-scale biochemical networks.

More information on Ozgur’s research. 

WISB has been funded by the above bodies