Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Research Program

Two main goals

ERABLE has two main goals, one related to biology and the other to methodology (algorithms, combinatorics, statistics). In relation to biology, the main goal of ERABLE is to contribute, through the use of mathematical models and algorithms, to a better understanding of close and often persistent interactions between “collections of genetically identical or distinct self-replicating cells” which will correspond to organisms/species or to actual cells. The first will cover the case of what has been called symbiosis, meaning when the interaction involves different species, while the second will cover the case of a (cancerous) tumour which may be seen as a collection of cells which suddenly disrupts its interaction with the other (collections of) cells in an organism by starting to grow uncontrollably.

Such interactions are being explored initially at the molecular level. Although we rely as much as possible on already available data, we intend to also continue contributing to the identification and analysis of the main genomic and systemic (regulatory, metabolic, signalling) elements involved or impacted by an interaction, and how they are impacted. We started going to the populational and ecological levels by modelling and analysing the way such interactions influence, and are or can be influenced by the ecosystem of which the “collections of cells” are a part. The key steps are:

In relation to methodology, the main goal is to provide those enabling to address our main biological objective as stated above that lead to the best possible interpretation of the results within a given pre-established model and a well defined question. Ideally, given such a model and question, the method is exact and also exhaustive if more than one answer is possible. Three aspects are thus involved here: establishing the model within which questions can and will be put; clearly defining such questions; exactly answering to them or providing some guarantee on the proximity of the answer given to the “correct” one. We intend to continue contributing to these three aspects: