Life is based on robust networks of interacting biomolecules which mediate and regulate cellular processes. Such networks are responsive to a wide variety of different internal and environmental signals to control higher-level cellular functions like growth, proliferation, differentiation, motility, or cell death, often involving decision-making biochemical reactions or switches. Understanding the structure and functional dynamics of such networks contributes to a basic understanding of biology and highlights the importance of the dynamic systems perspective when considering regulatory networks related to health and disease. The Regulatory Biology Group explores the regulatory network that controls differentiation in a pototypical eukaryote, Physarum polycephalum.
We focus on three basic tasks:
- Identify, on a systematic basis, molecular components of the regulatory network
- Find out how they are functionally interconnected (wired up) by reconstructing the network topology
- Analyse the dynamic systems behaviour of the interacting molecules and understand its functional relevance
These tasks are addressed through a combination of experimental and computational approaches performed in the lab and in cooperation with both theoreticians and molecular biologists.