Probabilistic Modelling of Biological Networks and Pathways

The Edge Conference Centre, University of Sheffield, U.K.
04 - 05 September 2007

Experimental advances in molecular biology are providing deeper understanding in the workings of living cells. High throughput functional genomic techniques are providing researchers with a reliable map of the complex networks underpinning the functioning of cells. Cellular processes often involve complex networking of several genes and transcription factors, and their temporal structure can often be accurately described in terms of pathways. A key problem in obtaining a computational understanding of these systems is the incomplete and noisy nature of most data: while certain relevant quantities, such as mRNA concentrations, can be measured accurately in a high throughput fashion, others, such as transcription factor concentrations, are difficult to measure quantitatively.

Probabilistic machine learning techniques such as Bayesian Networks have emerged in recent years as one of the main computational tools. Starting from the pioneering work of Friedman et al. (J. of Comp. Biol., 2000), probabilistic models of gene networks have received considerable attention (for some more recent works, see e.g. Nachman et al 2004, Beal et al 2005, Sanguinetti et al 2006, Sabatti and James 2006, etc). Despite the success of this approach, outstanding tasks remain to be addressed. For example, it is very hard to formulate tractable models that take into account the combinatorial nature of gene regulation, and generalising genome-wide models to incorporate dynamical effects such as pathways presents formidable computational challenges.

The main aim of this workshop will be to bring together researchers working on the many facets of these problem, providing a forum for discussion and giving focus to the future directions of research. We will aim involve some experimental biologists in order to foster collaborations between computational and experimental researchers.

The workshop will be held at the Edge Conference Centre, University of Sheffield, on 4th and 5th September 2007.

Invited Speakers:

The provisional list of invited speakers is:

  • Eileen Furlong, EMBL, Heidelberg.
  • Sarah Teichmann, University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Marco Grzegorczyk, University of Dortmund and Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, Edinburgh.
  • Visakan Kadirkamanathan, University of Sheffield, UK.
  • The workshop will be followed by the British Society for Developmental Biology autumn meeting, starting in the afternoon of September 5th at the same venue

    Program Committee:

    Important Dates:


    Abstracts of contributions for the workshop must be at most 1 page A4. Contributions will be reviewed by the program committee and authors will be notified by Friday July 20th. To submit an abstract, please send us an email attaching your abstract in PDF format.



    Getting There

    The workshop is sponsored by EU FP6 PASCAL Network of Excellence.

    The workshop is part of the PASCAL thematic programme on Learning in Computational and Systems Biology, co-organised by:

  • Neil D. Lawrence, School of Computer Science, University of Manchester.
  • Magnus Rattray, School of Computer Science, University of Manchester.
  • Mark Girolami, Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow.
  • Guido Sanguinetti, Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield.
  • Page last updated on Wednesday 28 Feb 2007 at 14:33 by Guido Sanguinetti

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