Systems Biology – linking genotype to Phenotype
KV Venkatesh, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India
The extensive studies in molecular biology in the last five decades have elaborated on the molecular component connectivity at genetic, protein and metabolic levels. This has resulted in the description of complex networks in the cells which connect genotype to phenotype through proteins, RNA and metabolites obtained through the reductionist approach of analyzing living systems. The complexity arising through such a highly interconnected network requires quantitative and mathematical analysis for obtaining insights into the design principles prevailing in these networks. Engineered and Physical systems have been quantified to the level that they can be designed, operated, controlled, optimized and diagnose faults by applying system science. The application of systems science, which is commonly used for engineered systems, to complex biological systems has been in vogue for a decade with the advent of the field of Systems Biology. The issues such as incomplete knowledge of the system structure and parameters posses challenges in understanding biological systems. However, the system analysis can help in generation of testable hypothesis towards obtaining working knowledge of biological systems. The significance of evolved mechanisms prevailing in living systems can be enumerated using quantitative methodologies such as feedback analysis. Recent studies have highlighted the significance of temporal and spatial dynamics of components in living cells towards their realization of a phenotypic state. The talk will give an overview of the field with system science principles in conjunction with experimental methodologies required to achieve a system level understanding of cellular behavior.