Source of Support: NIH 

Amount Awarded: $2,090,926 (Peccoud’s Share $475,023)

Period Covered: 05/01/11 to 04/30/17

Abstract: Two distinct approaches are being used to study complex cellular systems. The first approach automatically searches large datasets for correlations between genes and proteins and represents these as a graph with nodes and edges. The second approach painstakingly crafts detailed models that can be simulated by computer. These approaches have largely been developed separately until now. This project will meld these two approaches into a single framework, thereby allowing fast database searches to augment models that can be simulated. Specifically, the project will 1. Develop fast algorithms to search databases of molecular data to suggest extensions to models of cellular control systems 2. Develop new principles to test how well these extended models match experimental data and 3. Design experimental tests that can validate the predictions made by the first two steps. The project will validate this system by studying the mechanism of cell division, a system involved in the development of cancer. In the long term, the methods developed by this project can be used to study any complex cellular system, e.g., those implicated in infectious diseases.

Public Health Relevance: This project will meld two distinct approaches for studying complex cellular systems, one top-down and the other bottom-up, into a single framework. The project will combine the power of fast database searches with hand-crafted models. The project will validate this system by studying the mechanism of cell division, a system involved in the development of cancer.