Mathematics of biological computation and logic

We’re bringing mathematicians and biologists together to discuss novel techniques for modelling cell biology on Wednesday, 16th September.

Biological systems are incredibly complex, involving interactions across multiple time and length scales. Gene regulation alone involves many molecular species playing specific roles, structural changes in the epigenome and intercellular forces and signalling, all within the chaotic and noisy cellular environment. Despite this complexity, gene regulation gives rise to multicellular organisms where each cell type is robust to genetic diversity and mutations. The genetic code, logic and computation within the cell is, therefore, something we could learn a great detail from. Understanding these processes would not only pave a way for the design of more efficient therapies and revolutionise personal medicine, but enable the development of biological machines.

To make ground towards these end goals we must develop the field of biology, which has traditionally been based on observation, into a predictive science like physics and mathematics. How do we do this? Do we utilize the explosion of big data and the omics revolution to draw inference on experimental results? Or is a ground-up mathematical approach needed to create models that capture the necessary amount of detail without over complicating or simplifying the situation? Likely, it will need a combination of the two techniques.

Many of the modelling tools we have at our disposal may not currently be up to scratch though. The toolbox of mathematics and physics was largely developed for systems in equilibrium. Thus, these tools often fail in the messy world of biology. This event aims to bring scientists together to discuss promising and novel techniques for modelling cell biology.

Late Night at London Institute

Late Night at London Institute is a series of meetings at which junior scientists get to know each other and discuss a particular research theme in the evening. They start at 6 o’clock with drinks, followed by 15-minute talks and further drinks and discussion into the night.

Mathematics of biological computation and logic


LQ placeholderRyan Hannam

Ryan Hannam

Ryan Hannam is a postdoc at the London Institute & received his PhD from King's College London. His research interests centre on the emergence of multicellular life from genetic interactions. He uses tools from the statistical physics of complex systems and neural networks.

LQ placeholderRaffaella Mulas

Raffaella Mulas

Raffaella Mulas is a postdoc between the Alan Turing Institute of London and the University of Southampton, where she works in the group of Ben MacArthur. She recently obtained her PhD at the MPI MiS, with a thesis on the spectra of graphs and hypergraphs.

LQ placeholderLee Hazelwood

Lee Hazelwood

Lee Hazelwood is a principal scientist at and visiting researcher at the London Institute. His research interest is to understand the biological and physical basis of cellular identity using quantitative methods.