Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming

10 Mar 2022 | 10:00am – 11 Mar 2022 | 5:00pm

The London Institute and bit.bio host a two-day international meeting to unravel the theory of cell programming at the Royal Institution.

Cellular programmes drive the natural development and function of cells. Breakdown of these programmes can lead to disease and cell death. But achieving external control of cellular programmes can allow for the fine manipulation over cell identity, with the potential to reverse damage and treat diseases.

Despite isolated experimental successes, mathematical models for understanding cell identity and predicting cell transitions remain elusive. This is partly due to the complexity of cellular regulation, which involves processes across multiple time and organisational scales. It also stems from a disconnect between the research culture of cell biologists and mathematical scientists.

We urgently need theoretical models to catch up with experimental observations so that we can make this qualitative field more predictive. This two-day meeting, hosted by the London Institute for Mathematical Science and the Cambridge cell-coding company bit.bio, is a call to arms, bringing together researchers from cell biology, physics, mathematics and machine learning.

This intimate workshop emphasizes spirited discussions over scientific presentations, which are kept brief. It takes place at the Royal Institution in Mayfair, where the London Institute resides. Talks are given in the historic Lecture Theatre used by Davy and Faraday, with break-out sessions in the first-floor heritage rooms.

Programme

The workshop will include 12 talks across the 3 themes of biology, theory and computation aimed at giving a broad perspective on the challenges and open questions in cell programming. Between these, attendees can participate in chalk talks given at blackboards placed throughout the RI’s library and anteroom. These are an opportunity for smaller and more interactive discussions where participants can present recent advances they have made, problems they face in research and work collaboratively towards new approaches.

Wed 9 Mar 2022

  • 19:00 Informal welcome dinner off site, location TBC

Thu 10 Mar 2022

  • 09:00 Early Arrivals
  • 09:15 Tea, coffee, pastries
  • 10:00 Welcoming, Overview of day 1 programme
  • 10:30 Talk 1: Biology
  • 11:15 Talk 2: Theory
  • 12:00 Talk 3: Computation
  • 12:45 Working lunch: Group discussions at blackboards in the Library, Buffet lunch served in the Ante Room
  • 14:00 Talk 4: Biology
  • 14:45 Talk 5: Theory
  • 15:30 Talk 6: Computation
  • 16:15 Breakout discussion groups at blackboards
  • 19:00 Public talk in the Royal Institution Lecture Theatre

Fri 11 Mar 2022

  • 09:00 Early Arrivals
  • 09:15 Tea, coffee, pastries
  • 10:00 Welcoming, Overview of day 2 programme
  • 10:30 Talk 1: Biology
  • 11:15 Talk 2: Theory
  • 12:00 Talk 3: Computation
  • 12:45 Working lunch: Group discussions at blackboards in the Library, Buffet lunch served in the Ante Room
  • 14:00 Talk 4: Biology
  • 14:45 Talk 5: Theory
  • 15:30 Talk 6: Computation
  • 16:15 Breakout discussion groups at blackboards
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming
Meeting of minds on the mathematics of cell programming

Speakers

Mark Kotter

Dr Mark Kotter is a stem cell biologist and neurosurgeon at Cambridge and the founder and CEO of Bit.Bio. The cell coding company’s mission is the efficient and consistent reprogramming of human cells to standardise biomedical research, enable drug discovery and develop next-generation cell therapies.

Thomas Fink

Dr Thomas Fink is the founding Director of the London Institute and Charge de Recherche in the French CNRS. He studied physics at Caltech, Cambridge and École Normale Supérieure. His work includes statistical physics, combinatorics and the mathematics of evolvable systems.

Forrest Sheldon

Dr Forrest Sheldon is a Junior Fellow at the London Institute. He studied physics at Duke University before completing his PhD at the University of California, San Diego. His work focuses on nonlinear dynamics, disordered systems, inference and neuromorphic computing.

Sir John Beddington, FRS

Sir John Beddington FRS is a Trustee of the London Institute, Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Natural Resource Management at Oxford University. He is a former Government Chief Scientific Adviser. His research applies biology and economics to the sustainable management of natural resources.