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Digital Life Norway - Volterra Lecture


Centre for Digital Life Norway invites you to the Volterra Lecture with Professor Bernhard Palsson, which will be part of a full day meeting "Methodologies for Digital Life - Focus on Metabolic Systems". Palsson is professor of bioengineering and pediatrics and PI of the Systems Biology Group at UCSD. He is also CEO at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at DTU (Technical University of Denmark). Palsson’s group has been leading the development of full-scale models of metabolism and methodologies for integrating global scale or high throughput data with such models. The lecture is open for all and free to attend.


After the first genomes were sequenced in the mid 1990s, the first genome-scale metabolic reactomes were assembled around 2000 through a workflow called metabolic network reconstruction.  Subsequently, a field focused on the bottom-up approach to systems biology emerged where biochemical, genetic, and genomic mechanisms were explicitly described in mathematical terms leading to genome-scale models (GEMs).  GEMs are now available for metabolism, protein expression, proteostasis, and ROS tolerance.  GEMs can be customized based on condition-specific data to form whole cell models parameterized under the condition of interest to describe proximal causation.  GEMs can also describe distal causation (i.e., biological function over many generations).  Laboratory evolution can now be used to experimentally address distal causation.  Automated Adaptive Laboratory Evolution (ALE) machines have been constructed leading to hundreds of evolved endpoint strains that have resulted in the identification of about 20,000 mutations whose causal effects form the basis for a systematic description of distal caution.  The work presented will focus on E. coli and will illustrate many methods that Chemical Engineers have mastered.