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IMA Annual Program Year Workshop
Organization of Biological Networks
March 3-7, 2008

Steven J. Altschuler Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Alexander Hoffmann Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California at San Diego
Lani Wu Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Research towards understanding biological systems is moving from a focus of identifying components parts (cells, molecules, sequences) to the study of how these components function together. Networks attain functional characteristics that the individual components do not possess in isolation. To reveal and further explore such emergent properties of networks, over a variety of biological scales and complexities, mathematical tools play increasingly important roles in furthering our understanding of biological systems.


(1) The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers from the biological and mathematical sciences to address emergent systems properties. This workshop will not focus on tool building for data analysis, but modeling for hypothesis generation.
(2) The goal of each session is to first discuss progress and challenges at a specific biological scale.
(3) The goal for each presenter is to involve the participants from across disciplines in addressing specific questions in their research. Off-line discussion is a major component of this workshop.

Session Descriptions:

The workshop will be organized into five sessions, presented in increasing order of biological scale: The first session will be at the single molecule scale, with emphasis on stochastic effects. The second will be in design principles of small networks, often studied as engineered or "synthetic" networks. The third and fourth sessions will delve into intra- and intercellular networks. Our final session will cover design principles of large networks, including results from interpreting high-throughput and large-scale datasets.