Robustness Analysis of Biological Circuits: Application to Circadian Clock Networks

A property of particular interest in systems biology is the /robustness /of the underlying biophysical networks: the ability to maintain some target level of behavior or performance in the presence of uncertainty and/or perturbations. In this talk we introduce tools from systems theory that elucidate design principles in these complex architectures through the analysis of robust and fragile regions of the network. The problems used to illustrate the issue are drawn from circadian rhythm gene networks, hence the tools are extended to deal with oscillatory systems. Examples are presented for Drosophila, Mouse, and Arabidopsis networks. Recent to address discrete stochastic models are also covered. Finally, we highlight some recent results that analyze robustness properties at the tissue level, where intercellular coupling appears to be responsible for the generation of robust synchronized rhythms.

Francis J. Doyle III, University of California, Santa Barbara

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