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Artificial Gene Regulatory Networks

Wednesday 24 January 2018, 1.30PM to 15:00

Speaker(s): Dr Michael Lones, Heriot-Watt University


The behaviour of a biological cell is governed by a complex network of interactions that occur between genes and their protein products, known as gene regulatory networks. These networks are responsible for almost everything that goes on in biological organisms, from low-level metabolic control up to the high-level patterning of an organism’s body. Although gene regulatory networks are quite different to human-designed computers, the problems they solve are often comparable: for example, the need to process diverse incoming signals in an efficient manner, or to reach robust control decisions in the presence of noise. In this seminar, I’ll be talking about two related research topics in the field of artificial gene regulatory network research. First, the design of computational abstractions of gene regulatory networks, and the use of these for directly solving computational problems on computers. Second, the potential for using computer simulations to design artificial gene regulatory networks for use within biological cells, and how these might one day be used to control disease processes such as cancer.


Michael Lones is an Associate Professor in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. He holds MEng and PhD degrees from the University of York, awarded in 1999 and 2003 respectively. Following his PhD, he held an ERCIM Fellowship at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He then worked for 8 years as a researcher at the University of York. His interests span a number of topics at the interface between computer science and biology, including bio-inspired computing, computational biology, and biomedical data mining. He has published over 50 papers in these areas. He is an associate editor of BioSystems, on the editorial board of Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines, and is a member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering.



Location: PL002

Admission: Free


Telephone: 4485

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