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Speaker: Orkun Soyer
Title: Modeling cellular networks and microbial communities (towards their engineering)
Abstract: I will present evolutionary inspired approaches to the mathematical analysis of cellular networks and microbial communities. In particular, we are interested in understanding what kinds of system dynamics can arise from specific biochemical reaction modes, in the case of cellular networks, and metabolic exchanges, in the case of microbial communities. Two approaches we use to achieve such understanding is to analyze the dynamics of large ensembles of models and to run in silico evolutionary simulations. I will illustrate both approaches using recent results from our work on microbial signaling networks and synthetic microbial communities.

Speaker: Daniel Hebenstreit
Title: Mechanistic origins of single-cell mRNA variability
Abstract: Expression levels of the same mRNA vary significantly among the cells of an otherwise identical population. Such biological noise has great functional implications and is largely due to transcriptional bursting, the episodic production of mRNAs in short, intense bursts, interspersed by periods of transcriptional inactivity. Bursting has been demonstrated in a wide range of pro- and eukaryotic species, attesting to its universal importance. However, the mechanistic origins of bursting remain elusive. We are using a combined approach of genome editing, single-cell/single-molecule imaging, and Bayesian inference to unveil links between transcriptional mechanisms and mRNA noise.

Speaker: Munehiro Asally
Title: Bacterial self-organization into structured colonies
Abstract: For decades, bacteria have been excellent model systems for understanding various biological processes. Recent studies have revealed social and multicellular properties of bacteria, raising a possibility to use bacteria for studying multicellularity and social behaviours. Genetic and biochemical accessibility of many bacteria is particularly attractive as it can allow us to test the ideas and predictions from mathematical models. I am going to present our recent work of spatio-temporal pattern formation in structured bacterial colonies. Furthermore, I would like to discuss potential challenges in spatio-temporal patterning in bacterial population.

Speaker: Markus Kirkilionis
Title: Mathematical Models for Synthetic Biology
Abstract: The talk will give a systematic overview of mathematicalmodels used to describe microbial interactions, based and ordered by scale. We start by chemical interactions, extend the framework to biochemical interactions (including enzyme kinetics), describe the actions of whole organelles, and finally end with a population model describing microorganisms in a chemostat, where each cell has maintained a detailed description of its regulatory and metabolic pathways (including the cell cycle).
The talk will show how mathematics can contribute to guide the systematic (re-)construction of micro-organisms with (engineered) desired properties.