The Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Lecture in Systems Biology and Bioengineering presents Uri Alon, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science

Monday, April 24, 2017, 2:30-5:00pm, Mosher House Alumni Hall

The Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Lecture

in Systems Biology and Bioengienering


Uri Alon, Ph.D.

Department of Molecular Cell Biology
Weizmann Institute of Science 

April 24, 2017

2:30pm-5:00pm Mosher House-Alumni Hall

2:30pm Introductions 

3:00pm Lecture

4:00pm Reception & Poster Competition  


Evolutionary Tradeoffs and The Geometry of Phenotype


Organisms, tissues, and molecules that need to perform multiple tasks face a tradeoff in that, no design can be optimal at all tasks at once. We show that this fundamental tradeoff leads to simplex-like patterns in data on biological traits. The evolutionary tasks can be inferred based on the vertices of these simplexes. In this talk, Professor Alon will describe how this approach deduces evolutionary tasks in different systems. Tooth and beak morphology, ammonite fossils, and gene expression in cancer cells, bacteria, and stem cells will be discussed. Professor Alon will also discuss algorithms that can detect simplexes and tasks from data such as single-cell transcriptomics. This talk will highlight how a theorem based on simple assumptions seems to work better than it ought to, describing patterns and evolutionary tasks in biological systems from the scale of animals to the scale of cells and molecules.