NIMBioS Investigative Workshop
Systems and Synthetic Microbiology
Topic: Systems and synthetic biology of microbial systems
Meeting dates: March 11-13, 2013
Location: NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
|Agenda (PDF)||Participants||Evaluation report (PDF)|
Objectives: The goal of this investigative workshop is to bring together researchers dealing with modeling and experimental analysis of microbial systems, using natural or engineered systems. Cutting across the diversity of the experimental systems, tools, and modeling approaches, is the common notion of using these systems as well defined models that allow highly controlled experimentation. Such analysis in turn has the potential to generate definitive and often times generally applicable insights into issues including network design principles, ecological interactions, and evolution of cooperative traits.
The central theme is to investigate the use of well defined microbial systems, natural and synthetic, to address fundamental questions in evolution, ecology, and design issues of cellular networks.
This workshop will bring together leading researchers in the fields of systems and synthetic microbiology. Our specific goal is to create a dialogue where these researchers can explore their shared insights and the theoretical approaches used to obtain them. Building from research presentations and discussions, we will examine several specific questions, including:
- Are there universal principles that govern the organization of microorganisms beyond chemistry and physics? This includes the organization of both intracellular networks and networks consisting of interacting microbial populations.
- How does evolution shape network organizations? For example, how does evolution shape the design of certain cellular networks?
- What can we say about collective behavior and "intelligence" in microbial populations?
- What inspirations can we draw from natural networks (intracellular, intercellular, and interpopulations) when creating synthetic networks at various levels?
- To what extent can we apply the insights learned from these model systems, particularly engineered systems, to the understanding of biological questions in broader contexts? This applies both to the understanding of basic biological questions and to the development of tools or strategies for applications in biotechnology and medicine.
NIMBioS Investigative Workshops focus on broad topics or a set of related topics, summarizing/synthesizing the state of the art and identifying future directions. Organizers and key invited researchers make up half the 30-40 participants in a workshop; the remaining 15-20 participants are filled through open application from the scientific community. Investigative Workshops have the potential for leading to one or more future Working Groups.