Modelling cellular rhythms: the cell cycle and the circadian clock

Dr. Albert Goldbeter, Faculté des Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium

Wednesday 11 November, Location: Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre, time: 16:30

Theoretical models of increasing complexity will be presented for two major cellular rhythms, the cell cycle and the circadian clock. Starting with the latter, I will discuss models for circadian oscillations in Drosophila and in mammals. The model for the genetic regulatory network underlying the mammalian circadian clock allows us to address the molecular, dynamical bases of physiological disorders related to the sleep-wake cycle. Turning to the dynamics of the cell cycle, I will first discuss a simple automaton model that can be used to study the distribution of cell cycle phases and desynchronization in a cell population. I will use this automaton model to address optimization of circadian delivery of anticancer drugs that interfere with the cell division cycle. A detailed model for the cyclin/Cdk network that drives the mammalian cell cycle will be presented. This network is capable of temporal self-organization in the form of sustained oscillations of the limit cycle type in the presence of suprathreshold levels of growth factor. The model for the cyclin/Cdk network allows us to determine the conditions for entrainment of the cell cycle by the circadian clock.

Albert Goldbeter is head of the Unit of Theoretical Chronobiology at the Faculty of Sciences of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels. His work pertains to modelling the dynamical bases of temporal self-organization processes in a variety of biological systems. He is the author of the book « Biochemical Oscillations and Cellular Rhythms. The molecular bases of periodic and chaotic behaviour » (Cambridge University Press, UK, 1996).

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Goldbeter poster

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