[S3] Network-based approaches in evolutionary biology and medicine

Network theory, with a long history in mathematics and computer science, is starting to play an exciting role in evolutionary biology across multiple levels of biological organization, from cellular to ecological systems. Relevant and timely examples include: the study of diseases as perturbations in complex intracellular networks rather than single-gene abnormalities (Barabasi 2011), the spatial and functional interactions of microbial communities over time (Baldassano & Bassett, 2016), epidemic outbreaks in animal networks (Shrestha 2015, Lofgren 2014), and dynamic interactions between large-scale neural circuits (Shi Gu, 2015, Bassett 2011), to name only a few. This symposium will bring together scientists working at the interface of network science and evolutionary biology with two primary aims: (1) to highlight the empirical and theoretical advances made by applying network topology and dynamics theory to biological data and evolutionary questions, and (2) to discuss the design of new evolutionary network models and the integration of network theory with classic evolutionary models to answer fundamental questions in biology. As methodologies evolve, greater scientific interaction at the interface of network theory and biological systems will be essential for predicting temporal, spatially embedded, multi-scale networked evolutionary systems and establishing an integrative approach to evolutionary population dynamics and disease.
Organizers: Oana Carja, Nicole Creanza
Invited speakers: Danielle Bassett, Laura Hindersin