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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Monday, October 10, 2005

How Can Biology Excite an Engineer: the Role of Computational Biology

by

Yiannis Kaznessis

Monday, October 10, 2005
2:30 pm

402 Walter Library

Download slides (pdf 4.4 MB) The completion of numerous genome projects in the last decade marks a magnificent milestone for humankind. It is, however, merely the harbinger of a revolution in biomedicine that will drastically alter the health of humans and challenge the culture of human perception of the self and the environment. The deciphering of principles that guide nature to express itself from protein sequence to structure and function, and then on to protein-protein interactions, and to the circuitry of cells, will not only provide us with deep understanding of the secrets of life, but will also allow us to control such biological phenomena as cell differentiation and cell death, effectively entering the volitional period of evolution. Enumerating, cataloguing, and describing the components of biological systems, however, cannot by themselves provide the insight needed to design solutions that will improve the human condition. Rather, the complexity of interactions between the molecular components of biological systems is such that only a systematic framing of information to underlying principles will enable humans to harness the potential of genomic information. Hence, for the foreseeable future the immense task facing the scientific community is the systematic integration of biological information into a framework capable of making predictions for the purposes of designing biological systems. We will discuss the role of computational biology and bioinformatics in the development of this framework.