Soutenance de thèse : Silvia Grigolon

Modeling and inference for biological systems: from auxin dynamics in plants to protein evolution


All biological systems are made of atoms and molecules interacting in a non-trivial manner. Such non-trivial interactions induce complex behaviours allowing organisms to fulfil their many vital functions. These features can be found in all biological systems at different levels, from molecules and genes up to cells and tissues. In the past few decades, physicists have been paying much attention to these intriguing aspects by framing them in network approaches for which a number of theoretical methods offer many powerful ways to tackle systemic problems. At least two different ways of approaching these challenges may be considered: direct modelling methods and approaches based on inverse methods. In this defence I am going to show how we made use of both approaches to study three different problems occurring on three different biological scales. The first part concerns the very early stages of tissue development in plants; it covers the model we proposed for understanding which features drive the spontaneous collective behaviour in space and time of the transporters which pump the phytohormone auxin out of plant cells. Then, at the cell level, I will go through my study of the intracellular molecular networks that implement auxin signalling in plants, examining how network structures affect network functions. Finally, I will talk about inference problems on structural properties of proteins. I will introduce a method we formulated to understand how conservation of protein function across different organisms constrains the evolution of protein sequences and their diversity.

Date/Time : 14/09/2015 - 14:30 - 17:30

Location : IPN : salle E, rez-de-chaussée-bâtiment 100

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