Dr. Alexander Stewart
Alex obtained his PhD wiht research regarding the construction of complex gene networks by natural selection (Supervisors: Prof. Andrew Pomiankowski and Prof. Rob Seymour). In his doctoral thesis he notes that:
"Transcription regulation plays a key role in determining
cellular function, response to external stimuli and development.
Elucidation of gene regulation from both a global perspective (that of
the transcription network as a whole) and a local perspective (that of
small subnetworks performing particular functions) is an important
We model the evolution of transcription networks through trans and cis mutation, plus gene duplication and deletion. We employ these models to investigate the evolutionary dynamics underlying changes in network architecture. We investigate such phenomena as neutral rewiring between sets of small, functionally equivalent subnetworks, the emergence of dominance and additivity from network architecture and the evolution of transcription network degree distribution.
From this work, it is concluded that the relative rates of different evolutionary processes are responsible for shaping the global statistical properties of TFN structure. However, the more detailed TFN structure, such as network motif distribution, is strongly influenced by the population genetic details of the system being considered."
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