报告题目：Modeling cell differentiation in development and disease progression
报告人：Tian Hong 教授
报告地点：Zoom云会议（ID：932 1144 3567, 密码：nanxinda60）
报告摘要：The development and function of tissues in multicellular organisms rely on specialization of phenotypes of cells. The dynamic nature of many biological processes, such as tissue regeneration and cancer progression, often entails phenotypic plasticity of cells, also known as transdiferentiation. The complexity of these processes requires quantitative modeling for interactions among molecular species and cellular components, relating features of the intrinsic design of the cells to the behaviors of the cells and tissues. Our lab focuses on using mathematical and bioinformatic methods to understand heterogeneity and plasticity of cells in diverse biological systems, including the multi-step epithelial-mesenchymal (EMT), a process that is critical for development and cancer progression. Analyses of these models and transcriptomic data have led to several new discoveries, elucidation of intriguing and perplexing observations, and testable predictions. In particular, our modeling work revealed unifying gene regulatory network structures that produce multiple ordered attractors governing intermediate cell states during phenotypic transitions. A deeper understanding of these transitions sheds light on developmental processes and pathological mechanisms of several diseases.
Tian Hong is a systems biologist interested in using mathematical and computational approaches to understand complex biological systems. He is currently an assistant professor at the Department of Biochemistry & Cellular and Molecular Biology, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), and he is also a core faculty member at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). Hong received a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, where he also received a master’s degree in Bioinformatics. He obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from Virginia Tech. He completed his postdoctoral training in the Department of Mathematics at University of California, Irvine. His current research projects aim to address problems involving phenotypic plasticity and heterogeneity of cells. His group uses mathematical modeling and bioinformatic analysis to uncover mechanisms underlying cellular dynamics and complexity in development and disease progression.