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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI Life Sciences

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | IRI Life Sciences | Events | Colloquium | Past series | Life in Numbers | IRI-Schering-Colloquium - Rob Phillips: “Drunken Sailors, Coin Flips and How to Read Genomes”

IRI-Schering-Colloquium - Rob Phillips: “Drunken Sailors, Coin Flips and How to Read Genomes”

  • Colloquium
  • Life in Numbers
When Oct 12, 2017 from 04:00 PM to 05:30 PM (Europe/Vienna / UTC200) iCal
Where IRI Life Sciences, Philippstr. 13, Bld. 18, 3rd Floor
Contact Name

coll.png​   Schering



Rob Phillips is Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics and Biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).  

The Phillips Group is interested in the physical origins of biological function and combine physical models with quantitative experimentation on problems ranging from transcriptional regulation to mechanosensation.



The ability to read the DNA sequences of different organisms has transformed biology in much the same way that the telescope transformed astronomy. And yet, much of the sequence found in these genomes is as enigmatic as the Rosetta Stone was to early Egyptologists.  I will begin by showing how simple tools from statistical physics can be used to predict the level of expression of different genes, followed by a description of precision measurements used to test those predictions.  With those results in hand, I will then describe unexpected ways of using the  physics of information transfer first developed at Bell Labs for thinking  about telephone communications to try to decipher the meaning of the regulatory features of genomes.  Specifically, I will show how we have been able to explore genes for which we know nothing about how they are regulated by using a combination of mutagenesis, deep sequencing and the physics of information, with the result that we now have falsifiable hypotheses about how those genes work.


If you like to meet our speaker for a personal discission, please contact stefanie.scharf@iri-lifesciences.de