The University of Arizona

SISTA Colloquium Details


Monday, April 4, 2011

12:00 – 12:50 p.m.

Gould-Simpson Building, Room 906

Light refreshments in 9th floor atrium area - 11:50 a.m.



Guang Yao, Assistant Professor
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

University of Arizona

Title: Modeling Cell Signaling Networks that Control Cell Proliferation and Cell-Fate Decisions

Abstract: Understanding control mechanisms underlying diverse cell-fate decisions is crucial for identifying origins of many diseases and for effective therapeutics. In the past decades, the major players and wiring diagrams of various signaling pathways in the cell have been worked out. Yet the mechanisms by which these pathways mediate cell-fate decisions in response to environmental cues are still elusive. In this talk, I will discuss two examples from our recent research. By coupling computer modeling and single-cell measurements, we have identified dynamic properties emergent at the level of gene circuits. In particular, we have demonstrated that the Rb-E2F gene circuit converts graded and transient growth signals into all-or-none network outputs (in terms of activities of the E2F gene). We are now extending these studies to develop an integrated, quantitative understanding of “design principles” of gene networks, particularly those that serve to balance the life and death of a cell.