Computing and Mathematical Sciences Colloquium

Monday April 18, 2016 4:00 PM

Subtle Is the noise, but malicious it is not: exploring the dynamic benefits of intracellular randomness

Speaker: Professor Mustafa Khammash, Control Theory and Systems Biology, Head, Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETHZ)
Location: Annenberg 105
Using homeostasic regulation and oscillatory entrainment as examples, I demonstrate how novel and beneficial functional features can emerge from exquisite interactions between intracellular noise and network dynamics. While it is well appreciated that negative feedback can be used to achieve homeostasis when networks behave deterministically, the effect of noise on their regulatory function is not understood. Combining ideas from probability and control theory, we have developed a theoretical framework for biological regulation that explicitly takes into account intracellular noise. Using this framework, I will introduce a new regulatory motif that exploits stochastic noise, using it to achieve precise regulation and perfect adaptation in scenarios where similar deterministic regulation fails. Next I propose a novel role of intracellular noise in the entrainment of decoupled biological oscillators. Thus in both regulation and oscillatory entrainment, beneficial dynamic features exist not only in spite of the noise, but rather because of it.
Series Computing and Mathematical Sciences Colloquium Series

Contact: Carmen Nemer-Sirois at (626) 395-4561 carmens@caltech.edu