Team dracula

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Section: Overall Objectives

Presentation

Dracula is a joint research team between INRIA, University of Lyon 1 (UCBL) and CNRS (ICJ, UMR 5208 and CGMC UMR 5534). It was created in January 2010.

The Dracula project is devoted to multi-scale modelling in biology with application to normal and pathological hematopoiesis (blood cell production). Multi-scale modelling implies simultaneous modelling of intra-cellular networks (molecular level), of cell behaviour (cellular level), of the dynamics of cell populations (organ or tissue) with the control by other organs (organism). Such modelling represents one of the major challenges in modern science due to its importance and because of the complexity of biological phenomena and of the presence of very different scales.

Hematopoiesis is a complex process that begins with primitive hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and results in formation of mature cells: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, from where mature cells are released into the blood stream. Hematopoiesis is based on a balance between cell proliferation (including self-renewal), differentiation and apoptosis. The choice between these three possibilities is determined by intra-cellular regulatory networks and by numerous control mechanisms in the bone marrow or carried out by other organs. Intra-cellular regulatory networks are complex biochemical reactions involving proteins, enzymes and signalling molecules. Thus, hematopoiesis is a complex process which has a vital importance for the organism. Its malfunctioning can result in numerous blood diseases including leukemia.


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