:::
:::

Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology

I. Coordinator:

  • Prof Lee-Wei Yang (Institute of Bioinformatics and Structural Biology, NTHU)


II. Core Members:

  • Prof Lee-Wei Yang (Institute of Bioinformatics and Structural Biology, NTHU)
  • Prof Tsung-Han Kuo (Institute of Systems Neuroscience, NTHU)
  • Prof Chung-Chuan Lo (Institute of System Neuroscience, NTHU)
  • Prof Jui-Hung Hung (Dept Computer Science, NCTU)
  • Prof Tzay-Ming Hong (Department of Physics, NTHU)
  • Prof Sheng-Te Hsu (Institute of Biological Chemistry, AS/ Institute of Biochemical Sciences, NTU)
  •  

III. Research Themes:

  • In the recent movie “Inferno”, Director Ron Howard described a theme where maniacs could use genetically selective viruses to swipe half of the world population with claiming this could help alleviate imperative problems in the world. Half of the population in 2016 is 3.7 billion. However, the simple linkage between population and the degree of world problems could not withstand the challenging fact that the population was just ~2 billion during the time of WWI and WWII. A better informed and educated population of 7.4 billion, each of which shares less land and resource, may not choose to fight the wars those idealistic and/or greedy once fought in the beginning of 20th century. As the weakest genetic traits no longer be evolutionarily selected out from human population due to morality and religious concerns along with the ever advancing medical care, the problem of an over-crowded subway carriage should not be solved by poisoning half of the people in the car. Instead, the problem should be favorably solved by an encouragement for those civilized and helping crowd to collaborate within a promotive social network to creatively utilize un-explored space, in a hopefully pleasant manner. Hence, to better mold (or inform) a social network, including those genetically disfavored, into a less self-destructive and hopefully promotive entity, a scientific re-emphasis in understanding human behavior and the social network underlying by which can be essential.
  •  
  • Entering the 21st century life science, scientists have gotten used to the techniques and concept such as next generation sequencing (NGS) of human genome, epigenetics, metagenetics, optogenetics, metabolomics, precision medicine, CRISPR/Cas9 (genome editing techniques), brain imaging, computational neuroscience etc. Life is understood in unprecedented details in molecular and cellular levels while more preventive and controlling measures can be put in place to manipulate molecular and cellular behaviors with great clinical interest. On the other hand, life in the behavioral side has not been understood together with these molecular and cellular details. A better understanding in correlation and causality between these two levels of life can be important to promote medicinal, educational and social welfare redistribution, in the scope of promoting a more sustainable community. Human life, its behavior and future can also be better understood by its dynamic environment (the social network an individual is in and epigenetics) and his intrinsic heritage (genetics). Moreover, those understood as personality, character, morality and spirit which greatly shape societies in every generation can also be re understood and classified at the molecular and cellular levels and from neuron wiring patterns. All these demand new ways of collecting data, new classification of human groups and their diseases and new interdisciplinary collaborations. The importance of such undertaking has been appreciated domestically and internationally, in academia as well as in private sectors. Examples are Academia Sinica’s new TIGP PhD program – “Social Networks and Human-Centered Computing” and that Google (constantly documenting human behavior around the globe) funded this sequencing company 23&me 10 years ago. Possible collaborations between physicists/mathematicians and behavior scientists, between molecular biologists/structural biologists and clinicians using NGS techniques, and between human/machine interface engineers and MRI brain imaging scientists can be anticipated. A new collaboration should not be formed by drastically changing the previous research direction of any individual researcher. We will promote the research heading to a new and meaningful direction with leveraging existing strength of participating researchers. A small step toward meaningful direction is encouraged. The focus group will invite core members and frequent participants from practical disciplines such as experimental biology, medicine and engineering as well as quantitative disciplines like physics, mathematics, statistics and computer science. All the collaborations within the molecular/cellular levels, within the social network/behavior levels, and between molecular and behavior levels are encouraged. We shall focus on the following areas:
  •  
  • Structural and dynamics modeling of biomolecules, cell components and human individuals in different states
  • This includes but is not limited to advanced structural biology techniques, single molecule techniques, biophysical method development, protein folding and dynamics, biomechanics, neuron contact topology and wiring patterns, molecular evolution and population genetics, systems biology, human behavior prediction and modeling.
  •  
  • Data collection, correlation analysis and pattern recognition
  • Data collected from social network (multimedia and text), new classification of human behavior using new indices, large-scale network analysis, correlation between gene SNPs and human behavior/personality/character, relation between social behavior, mental disease and epigenetics/genetics/metabolomics, behavior biomarkers, brain imaging analysis coupled with behavior defined by social network, mathematical modeling of social/health/financial/welfare network.
  •  
  • The forming efforts and ideas from 2017-2018 is bioinformatics-based algorithms implemented to detect internet and mutual plagiarism (http://dyn.life.nthu.edu.tw/SAVE/), as well as the following remedy education inspired by behavior neural science that will be analyzed by proteome and NGS in the future.
  •  

IVTentative plan of activities:

  • In This budget will be allocated to host activities fostering interdisciplinary collaborations under the theme of complex systems and mathematical biology. Those include but are not limited to
  • • Regular seminar talks and mini-workshops with speakers from domestic and international research institutions.
  • • Two conferences (one will be the satellite meeting of the annual meeting of biophysics society in Taiwan, and the other one is a computational/behavioral neural science) and a two-day workshop will be held per year.
  • • Hosting short-term local or international visitors. The visitors may coincide with the speakers of the conference.
  • • Travel expenses for postdocs or students to international or domestic conferences of relevant topics. 
  •  

VExpected achievements:

  • The major goal of this program is to facilitate collaboration between experimental biologists and theoretical scientists and between disciplines, with an encouragement on collaborations between molecular/cellular biology and human behavior. We would also like to attract junior PIs, postdocs and students in theoretical sciences to work on biological problems. By the end of the term we anticipate to facilitate at least four collaborative projects, 6 to 10 publications with NCTS as the affiliation or in the acknowledgement.
  •  
cron web_use_log