College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Topology and Dynamics of Complex Biological Systems

Aug 23, Thur 2007
11:00am, MRB 200

Dr. Marta Sales

Northwestern University

The myriad of high-throughput methods available for probing biological samples has drastically boosted our ability to gather comprehensive molecular-level information on an increasing number of organisms. Unfortunately, our understanding of biological systems has not grown proportionally. I will talk about two different problems in which the analysis of large pools of data can help us extract knowledge from the "sea" of available information: evolutionary processes and the organization of complex networks. First, I show that the systematic analysis of protein families enables us to assess evolutionary relationships between species and to discriminate between theories about the tree of life. Second, I will present a set of methods that is able to accurately extract the hierarchical organization of complex networks and how such methods are able to summarize the information stored in biochemical networks.

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