Indiana University Indiana University IU

Event: Computational Systems Biology with Tomas Helikar

NSF-NRT Extended Colloquium Series

Friday, Nov 6th 2020 at 11:30 A.M.

The CNS-NRT is hosting this event as part of its Extended Colloquium Series.

Abstract: Biological processes across organisms are governed by complex, nonlinear network systems that span multiple layers of biological organization, from molecular to cellular to organ and organismal levels. Mathematical and computational modeling has become integral to better understanding the systems’ mechanism and dynamics under healthy as well as diseased conditions. In this presentation, discussed will be our efforts in studying the human immune system through the lens of multi-scale and multi-approach computational models. In particular, I will focus on our recent integrative models that revealed new insights into the differentiation capacity of CD4+ T cells by showing that T cell fate depends on both extracellular cytokine pattern as well as their dosage. Our modeling efforts also identified additional mixed T cell phenotypes and enabled us to characterized semi-quantitative cytokine patterns (“recipes”) needed to drive specific cell fate, as well as to identify metabolic targets for repurposable drugs for several autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, discussed will be our technology-driven efforts to address the challenges associated with constructing comprehensive, accurate, and re-usable mathematical models. Specifically, we have developed software, Cell Collective, to enable collaborative construction of large-scale models, while also making modeling accessible to anyone with or without computational background.

Speaker Biography: Dr. Helikar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. His research expertise is in computational systems biology, technology development, and STEM education.