Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards
Organisation: Imperial College London
Dates: Dec 2009-Nov 2014
Summary: Our work centres around the statistical tools necessary to reverse engineer the structure, dynamics and evolutionary history of natural systems. In parallel we are attempting to find new ways of manipulating or controlling these systems using biological and therapeutically relevant interventions. This work relies on the availability of suitable mathematical models and the discovery and analysis of such models is central to our work. More generally, developing mechanistic models has become an integral aspect of systems biology, as has the need to differentiate between alternative models. Parameterizing mathematical models has been widely perceived as a formidable challenge, which has spurred the development of statistical and optimisation routines for parameter inference. But now focus is increasingly shifting to problems that require us to choose from among a set of different models to determine which one offers the best description of a given biological system.
We apply the resulting techniques in the context of biological signalling systems and cell-fate decision making processes. Our work is being applied in close collaboration with experimental and clinical scientists and informs the way they plan and conduct novel, more informative and discriminatory experiments.