Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


Building Cell Maps: Status and Challenges


Emek Demir, Ph.D

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Advances in molecular technologies have led to rapid generation of data and information about cellular processes at an increasing rate. Current means of knowledge representation and scientific communication in biology cannot adequately deal with the complexity and volume of this information - a serious bottleneck for developing a causal, predictive understanding of the cell.

Pathway Commons project aims to create a common language and platform for building cell maps - system level, integrated models of cellular processes. I will discuss recent applications of cell maps to (i) find causal explanations to correlations in large scale high throughput tumor profiles, (ii) improve network inference algorithms, (iii) finding metabolic tumor vulnerabilities. I will also give a quick overview of existing computational challenges for improving Cell Map.

As we build pathway resources and infrastructure it is becoming increasingly possible to utilize a knowledge driven approach to biological problems. With a mechanistic understanding of the cellular events, we can better subtype diseases, predict drug responses, and choose combinations of drugs to optimally interfere with the disease. This would be revolutionary, especially for complex, multi-causal diseases such as cancer.


DATE: 24 March, 2014, Monday @ 13:40