Research Topic

Information and Optimization
in Biological Systems

Biological systems have to sense and react to the information available from the environment. The underlying assumption of this research is that the millions of years of would have optimized the information aggregation systems modulo some path dependence having to do with early mistakes! Given this assumption, can one rationalize the information processing structures seen in individual cells as well as multicellular organisms.

In our first effort we developed a theory for different signalling architectures observed in eukaryotic cells -- free diffusion, active clustering and stationary lattice. We show that all these structures appear as different optimal “phases” of a single optimization problem.

We are currently developing an information theoretic explanations for a very diverse sets of biological problems: the sugar decoration of cell surface proteins, the structure of the golgi apparatus that creates the sugar decoration, the function of rab proteins on endosomes, and the organization of the immune system.