MoSTNet - Modular Modeling Methods for Signal Transduction Networks

Funded by BMBF 03/2012 - 11/2017

Signal transduction networks play a major role in ensuring normal function of living cells. Understanding the interplay of signaling cascades, regulatory and crosstalk effects as well as the impact of perturbations on a system level, is a strong research focus in fields ranging from biotechnology to medicine. This project will drive investigation of both cytokinin signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana and oncogenic RAS/RAF signaling in humans, exploiting the comprehensive nature of mathematical modeling to unite the diverse applications. A novel modeling approach, specifically tailored to signaling networks, will be developed in close cooperation with life scientists from the respective disciplines. Building upon ideas from network modularization, it will be highly suited to discovering and analyzing subnetworks crucial for regulatory effects, stability and perturbation processing, thus reflecting the research questions we want to tackle in cytokinin and RAS/RAF signaling. In consequence, the project will advance our grasp of the mechanisms of cytokinin and RAS/RAF signaling and supply modeling tools capable of supporting signal transduction research in all areas of systems biology.

In our group, we develop a general underlying mathematical framework and implementation, but we also develop models in close collaboration with our partners from the life sciences.

Mathematics: Heike Siebert, Hannes Klarner

Cytokinin signaling: Robert Schwieger, with expertise and advice from PD Dr. Alexander Heyl, Research Group Heyl, Institute of Applied Genetics, FU Berlin

RAS/RAF signaling: Kirsten Thobe, with expertise and advice from PD Dr. Christine Sers, Research Group Sers, Institute of Pathology, Charite Berlin