Theory Lunch

"Chalk" talks (whiteboard only, no slideware) on conceptual issues in biological systems. Open to all.
To join the mailing list or for more information, contact jeremy (at) hms.harvard.edu

HMS, Warren Alpert Building, Room 563, 12-2pm, on most fridays during term

2018 May 18

Theory Lunch: Nikolai Slavov

12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

WAB563

Department of Bioengineering
Northeastern University

Title: Understanding and controlling cell differentiation using single-cell mass-spectrometry

Abstract: For decades, scientists and physicians have used antibodies, fluorescent proteins, and MALDI-TOF to identify or quantify a few different proteins per cell. These methods have enabled new discoveries, and even spawned new fields, e.g., understanding the role of noise in gene expression. However, many pressing needs in medicine and transformative opportunities in...

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2018 Oct 12

Theory Lunch: Daniel Fisher

12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

WAB563
Title: Evolution, ecology and diversity in high dimensions
 
2017 Dec 01

Theory Lunch: Allon Klein

12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

WAB 563

 

Title: Differentiation dynamics from high-dimensional single cell snapshots

Allon Klein
Department of Systems Biology
Harvard Medical School

Abstract: I will discuss our efforts to link cell states to cell fates using single cell gene expression measurements and lineage tracing, with bone marrow hematopoiesis and the early embryo as examples. There are several challenges in reconstructing dynamic processes of cell differentiation in these systems, which can be generalized to other...

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2018 Jun 01

Theory Lunch: Peter Sterling

12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

WAB 563

Department of Neuroscience
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Title: Allostasis, a new principle of physiological regulation, and its implications for human design

Abstract: Allostasis denotes a broad strategy for regulating physiology and behavior. The brain senses the internal milieu, the external environment, and consults its database to predict what will likely be needed. Then it computes the optimal response and commands every cell in the body. The brain rewards a better-than-...

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2018 May 04

Theory Lunch: Karen Abbott

12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

WAB 563

Department of Biology
Case Wester Reserve University

Title: Ecological stability in a stochastic world

Abstract: Sudden, persistent changes in ecosystem state or configuration, known in ecology as regime shifts, are difficult to predict and a cause of great concern. A large, stable prey population may suddenly collapse to an alternative low-density state in response to a stochastic perturbation, for example, or stochasticity may trigger outbreaks in pest populations that were previously stably suppressed. To...

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2018 Apr 27

Theory Lunch: Sahand Jamal Rahi

12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

WAB 563

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Switzerland

Title: Using dynamical stimuli to differentiate network topologies

Abstract: Biology emerges from interactions between molecules, which are challenging to elucidate with current techniques. An orthogonal approach is to probe for 'response signatures' that identify specific circuit motifs. For example, bistability, hysteresis, or irreversibility are used to detect positive feedback loops. For adapting systems, such signatures are not known. Only two circuit motifs...

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2018 Apr 20

Theory Lunch: Douglas Erwin

12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

WAB 563

Department of Paleobiology
National Museum of Natural History

Title: Evolutionary novelty, innovation and evolutionary possibility

Abstract: One of the more peculiar facts about evolution is the under-dispersion of organisms in any evolutionary space: cats are cats, pangolins are pangolins, anomalocariids are anomalocariids and never the twain shall meet. Indeed, the very fact that we can recognize and name discrete entities reflects the gaps between them. Why? If Darwin were right, adaptation driven by natural selection...

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2018 Apr 06

Theory Lunch: Yoav Gilad

12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

WAB 563

Department of Human Genetics
University of Chicago

Title: TBA

Abstract: Regulatory variation plays a central role in the genetics of complex traits, however it remains challenging to determine which variants in the genome impact gene regulation. Since 2007, we have used a panel of 70 unrelated HapMap Yoruba individuals to develop a model system for studying the genetic variants that drive variation in gene regulation. We have characterized a wide range of cellular phenotypes in these individuals, thus creating an...

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