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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Monday, January 27, 2003

DTC Seminar Series

Robustness of Gene Regulatory Networks


Reka Albert
University of Minnesota

Monday, January 27, 2003
3:30 pm

402 Walter Library

Slide presentation 1 (pdf 2.1 MB) Slide presentation 2 (pdf 459 KB) Biological systems often form complex networks of interaction. For example, the expression of genes is regulated by interactions with other genes and gene products. Recent experimental advances uncovered the qualitative structure of many gene control networks, creating a surge of interest in the quantitative description of gene regulation. In this talk, Dr. Albert will focus on the segment polarity genes of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and the network of interactions determining the stability of their expression. She will present a Boolean representation of this network that assumes that genes and proteins are either ON or OFF, and their interactions can be formulated as logical functions. This model is able to reproduce the observed spatial patterns of the segment polarity genes as well as the patterns obtained in gene mutation experiments. In addition, the model gives insights into the functioning of the network, suggesting a remarkable robustness towards changes in internal parameters, initial conditions and even some mutations.


Dr. Reka Albert received her Ph.D. from the University of Notre-Dame in 2001 and both degrees masters and B.Sc. degree from Babees-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in June 1995-96. She has also presented several lecturers in her field at the University of Minnesota including invited presentations and talks abroad. Dr. Albert has coauthored several journal and conference papers in this and other areas.