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Jan - Isidore Rigoutsos

Speaker: Isidore Rigoutsos

Title of talk: Of Parts and Relationships: An Unending Quest

Event Details


January 13, 2005

Affiliation: IBM’s Computational Biology Center, Bioinformatics and Pattern Discovery group


In recent years, considerable amounts of research activity has been focused on the interpretation of large, diverse sets of biological measurements in order to elucidate the complex mechanisms that underly important and (seemingly simple) macroscopic phenotypes.

The problem at hand is hierarchical in nature, with the hierarchy spanning many levels. Each of these levels can be thought of as comprising multiple active agents that are diverse in their nature (e.g. genes, proteins, pathways, organelles, etc) and also in their behavior. It is within this setting that one seeks to build an integrated view of the system under study, as soon as the relevant units and the complex inter- and intra-level relationships in which these units participate have been characterized.

Implicit in the above outline are the following assumptions: a complete, and, presumably correct list of parts exists for the system that is being studied; and, most, if not all, of the important relationships involving these parts are available.

Through the research work of my group and of others, there is increasing evidence that the situation is likely to be more complicated than initially estimated, and that one should be watchful when it comes to making or relying on the above two assumptions.

In this presentation, I will describe several examples of parts and relationships that have emerged from our most recent research work on gene discovery, horizontal gene transfer, the de novo design of antimicrobial peptides, and the study of the RNA interference phenomenon. These results suggest that the one-dimensional sequence space continues to remain a source of excitement and likely possesses many more properties that have yet to be discovered.

Student Speaker: Carri-Lyn Mead, Bioinformatics Training Program for Health Research

Title of talk: Investigating Trends in Transposable Element Insertion within Regulatory Regions

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