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Learning the Circuits that Run Life's Program

Learning the Circuits that Run Life's Program

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New York University, Woolworth Building

Presented By

Presented by the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies and Science & the City


In partnership with NYU's School of Continuing & Professional Studies, and the Office of the Dean of Sciences at NYU, Science & the City hosts a lecture by NYU systems biologist Richard Bonneau exploring the hidden secrets of the genome.

Whole genome sequencing has allowed biologists to collect complete parts lists for several organisms and the challenge now lies in building up working models of how the thousands of genes composing an organism result in function, form and behavior.

Gene networks found in all cells have several amazing qualities: they are very robust to error and change, they allow the cell to navigate complex combinations of decisions, they self assemble (or oversee their own piece by piece synthesis), and they operate on a wide range of time scales (from milliseconds to years).

In spite of the formidable challenges associated with building up models of these networks (due to thier size and complexity) biologists are starting to achieve critical milestones: discovering whole new classes of molecules hiding in the genome and constructing models with accuracy and completeness needed to model the operation of the genome in real time at the molecular level.

Richard Bonneau is a faculty member at New York University's Center for Comparative Functional Genomics, where he is a joint member of both the Biology and Computer Science departments. Dr. Bonneau did his doctoral work at the University of Washington in Seattle working with David Baker on the state of the art protein structure modeling and prediction platform, Rosetta.

Rich is currently a member of the Rosetta commons and continues to develop and work with Rosetta as part of several projects in his lab. Before joining NYU he worked as a Senior Scientist with Leroy Hood at the Institute for Systems Biology. His research efforts are focused on making computational tools, algorithms and methods for systems-wide elucidation of biological systems. His research aims to develop computational methods at the intersection of two interrelated fields: protein structure and functional genomics.

Recently Dr. Bonneau was selected as one of the top 20 scientists under 40 by Discover magazine. Rich is also currently the technical lead on two grid computing collaborations with IBM -- the first and second phases of the Human Proteome Folding Project and oversees TACITUS's ( approach to data gaming for all applications that focus on genomics, computational biology and cell biology.