Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

CIS Department Talk - February 22, 2010

The Department of Computer and Information Science & Fordham College at Rose Hill Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar in Bioinformatics Present

Speaker:Dr. Aviv Bergman, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Topic:Evolutionary Systems Biology in Health and Disease: Aging and Cancer vis-a-vis Robustness and its Breakage
Date:February 22, 2010 2:30PM-3:30PM
Place:Keating Hall, Room 105, Refreshments at 1:45PM in JMH 112


Our long-term goal is a complete understanding of the functional properties of genes involved in biological processes that control key aspects of complex developmental, and pathophysiologic processes. We study these properties in their systems biological and evolutionary context, and utilize our findings to better understand the underlying systems level mechanisms of complex traits. In turn, we may be able to develop reliable diagnostic tools aimed at predicting the behavior of complex traits in response to perturbation. The evolutionary causes and consequences of robustness and its breakage will be explored in relation to health (healthy aging), and disease (head and neck squamous cell carcinoma).

Brief Bio: Aviv Bergman is the Founding Professor and University Chairman of the Department of Systems and Computational Biology of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His main area of interest is evolutionary systems biology. His research agenda addresses quantitative problems in evolutionary and developmental biology by using a combination of computational, mathematical and experimental tools. Starting with biologically relevant models, he combs for data from existing studies, and in close collaboration with experimentalists, generates new data. In turn, this data allows him to refine the models, thus guiding both experimental and modeling processes. The ability to test models in this way is facilitated by data generated from systematic genomics efforts undertaken in recent years. Central to his approach is an evolutionary perspective in examining the hypotheses arising from the combination of theoretical model and biological data. Specific research areas that he has worked on include those regarding the causes and consequences of robustness, the evolution of gene networks, the evolution of sex determination networks, the genetic hallmark of human longevity and cancer, as it relates to the loss of robustness. For more information, please contact Ms. Danielle Aprea (718) 817-4480 or

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